September 16, 2008
T-Mobile has made it official: It plans to introduce the first mobile phone running Google's Android software at a Sept. 23 press conference in New York.
T-Mobile's phone, an HTC Dream (a.k.a. G1), is expected to be available to consumers at the end of October. Its arrival after months of anticipation among technophiles promises to reinvigorate the smartphone market and to provide a mobile application platform to rival Apple's iPhone. Last November, Google announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 hardware, software, and telecom companies, to promote open standards for mobile devices. The group includes Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola, and T-Mobile. In August, after several rough spots, Android's prospects brightened considerably, thanks to the FCC's approval of the HTC Dream, Google's delivery of the Android 0.9 SDK beta, and T-Mobile's confirmation of its plan to ship an HTC Android-powered phone. Also in August, Google announced the Android Market, "an open content distribution system that will help end users find, purchase, download and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices." "Developers can expect the first handsets to be enabled with a beta version of Android Market," said Eric Chu, Google's Mobile Platform program manager, in a blog post last month. He also promised further updates. The availability of T-Mobile's Android phone and a functioning application store may prompt Apple to re-evaluate its controversial exclusion of certain iPhone apps from its iTunes App Store, behavior that Apple's detractors have characterized as anti-competitive and capricious.
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