While AT&T has the veritable lock on the iPhone and BlackBerry, T-Mobile seems to be the wireless carrier poised to introduce the long-awaited Google Android operating system to the worldwide smartphone community. This according to the New York Times.
As RIM, Palm, Microsoft (with its Windows Mobile), and Symbian duke it out with industry leader, Apple and its Mac Mobile OS X, the Google Android OS looks like the singular contender most likely to unseat the current smartphone king.
The first Google Android smartphone will be manufactured by the leading smartphone maker in the world, High Tech Computer Corp, better known to the average consumer as HTC, makers of the original “iPhone Killer”, the HTC Touch and it’s follow-up, the HTC Touch Pro. Its name will be the HTC Dream.
The Google Android mobile OS, announced last November (2007) is the search giant’s effort to improve internet performance on smartphone devices. Chances are the company that seems to know the internet best is best positioned to optimize the mobile web. But one interesting question still lingering in both consumers’ and analysts’ minds is how the smartphone OS will perform as an actual telephone.
Lest any smartphone users forget (and we wouldn’t blame you one bit if you did, with all the distracting bells-and-whistles smartphones come with these days), they are first-and-foremost cell phones. And the best maker of cell phones in terms of consistency, reliability, and clarity of call quality is Nokia. So until we see a Nokia smartphone on the Google Android OS, we may never know how good it can really get.
Google said it will make its Android OS available for free to any smartphone maker that wants to use it. And, like the iPhone, it aims to appeal to consumers, business users, and enterprise customers alike by providing unlimited software downloads for free, allowing users the ultimate in device personalization and customization.
And despite “mum” being the sole word the insiders have on the subject, so far we do know that the HTC Dream will boast both a slideout touchscreen and a full 5-row QWERTY keyboard. It promises to be the closest to a miniature computer that smartphones currently come. Other companies that have announced plans to release a Google Android powered smartphone include Sprint (the world’s 3rdleading carrier, next to 4th placer T-Mobile) and Qualcomm.
This collaboration of Google, T-Mobile, and HTC looks clearly like a team to contend with. With its Touch Pro model, HTC has already given Apple and its 3G iPhone a run for its money. And T-Mobile continues to stay competitive with a practically unbeatable price point.
Though T-Mobile and Google are both keeping silent on the subject, rumors have it that the new device will be available for US customers to purchase as soon as October and probably no later than this Christmas.