Dianne See Morrison
Monday, April 27, 2009 9:00 AM
More traction for Google's mobile operating system Android. Samsung, the world's second largest cellphone maker, has unveiled its first Android-based handset, the I7500, a touch screen smartphone, with a 5 megapixel camera and 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, that gives users access to all of Google's services. It's also the first Android phone from the top three phone makers. Samsung said that the phone would be available in major European countries in June, and it appears from Germany's O2 web site, that the carrier will be one of the first to offer it exclusively to customers. No word yet on pricing. In Germany, the I7500 will go head to head with the Android-based HTC Magic that Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) carries exclusively and the HTC G1 that T-Mobile offers.
Last week, T-Mobile quietly revealed that it has sold 1 million G1's since the October debut of the world's first Android phone. Though a respectable number, it wasn't exactly a runaway success. Some analysts, including Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay, have even called Android a failure, after the OS, launched to great fanfare in late 2007 failed to get widespread adoption. At Mobile World Congress, there was only one Android announcement, the HTC Magic, while at CTIA , there was lots of "chatter" but not much to show for.