Google’s Android: close but no cigar


23 Jun 2008

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Google is having difficulties in getting Android, its open platform for mobile phones, ready for its partners in the Open Handset Alliance (which include Samsung and Motorola).

This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Google Android won’t be ready to rock until the fourth quarter of 2008.

The original ETA for Android would have been around now, pitting it against the forthcoming 3G iPhone from Apple, which is now faster, cheaper and available in more countries than the previous model.

While Apple has always developed its own hardware and software in conjunction with each other, Google is left in a position where Android can potentially be used as a mobile operating system, user interface and applications bundle on any handset. This has landed Google with the headache of Android being compatible and adaptable for both carriers and handset manufacturers alike.

Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google, told the WSJthat while all this takes time, Google is “very, very close”.

The real question may not be how long it will take to iron out these problems but whether this new platform will reach the average mobile user.

Speaking previously to siliconrepublic.com, CEO of Irish mobile firm Mobanode, Shane McAllister said while Android will no doubt impact the industry and lead to the development of innovative applications, “its effect on the consumer will be harder to gauge.

“Most people stick with what they are given – hence Windows proliferates in the desktop world despite more robust and user-friendly alternatives like Linux or Mac OS X,” he added.

By Marie Boran