Monday, April 6, 2009

Samsung to launch Google Android Handsets

Samsung is preparing to introduce several new devices that will use the Google Android code. Samsung confirmed Monday at CTIA that it will roll out its first device based on Google's mobile platform in June. A Samsung spokesperson said that only one handset using Google's Android operating system will hit the market somewhere outside the U.S. and would not "confirm or deny" two possible domestic devices rumored for release later this year. The Samsung spokesperson would not disclose the location of the impending international launch.

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Won Pyo Hong, EVP of product strategy in the company's mobile communication division said "Samsung plans to release several Google Android devices this year" and "Samsung's first Android phone is slated to launch in June outside of the United States".

Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. As of today only one device introduced by T-mobile, HTC and Google runs on the Android platform.

The two other phones will most likely be carried by Sprint and T-Mobile, as they are the only U.S. operators that belong to the Open Handset Alliance. The Open Handset Alliance is a group of 47 technology and mobile companies devoted to commercial deployment of handsets and services using the Google Android platform.

Bloomberg News recently reported that Sprint executives are now considering Android for its product lineup. "We believe in the vision for Android, so we want to see it get bigger and get healthy," said Kevin Packingham, Sprint’s vice president of products and devices. "We can, when the timing’s right, pull the trigger."

Due to operator preferences, the two U.S. Android phones will look "totally different," Hong told Forbes. In contrast, Samsung plans to deliver one Android phone, at least initially, to European consumers. "In Europe, you can launch one common device with several carriers," he noted.

Hong also said, that its carrier partners are content with the timing. "We are launching Android devices later than HTC, but in terms of our commitments with carriers, there is no delay at all."