The success of the touch-screen smartphone shows Android is gaining traction against the iPhone, BlackBerry, and other competitors.
In another sign that the Google-backed Android operating system is picking up steam, HTC said it has sold more than one million units of its Magic smartphone.
The sales figure is quite impressive considering the Android-powered Magic just went on sale in August in the U.S. market as T-Mobile's myTouch 3G. The touch-screen handset is similar to the T-Mobile G1, but it ditches the full QWERTY keyboard for a touch-centric interface. The Magic has all the features one expects from a high-end smartphone including Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, and a full HTML browser.
HTC sells the most smartphones with Windows Mobile in the world, but the company is placing a stronger emphasis on the Android operating system. The smartphone maker recently introduced the Hero, and HTC customized Android to give the handset a unique user interface known as Sense. The company said more than half of its shipments for the rest of the year will be mid-range smartphones, and the open source nature of Android makes it a bit cheaper than Windows Mobile.
HTC is not the only company taking a strong look at the Linux-based operating system, as Google said it expects up to 20 Android handsets to be released by the end of the year. Motorola is placing a major bet on Android to help it mount a comeback in the cell phone space, and it will also be wooing developers to make its handsets stand out. Wireless carriers have also jumped on board, as T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless are expected to have Android smartphones before the end of the year.
InformationWeek has published a 360-degree analysis of the first Android-based smartphone. Download the report here (registration required).
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