|Samsung Plans Three Android Phones This Year|
HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Asus-Garmin also are committed to releasing Android-powered smartphones this year.
By Marin Perez, InformationWeek
April 3, 2009
Samsung is working on at least three Android-powered smartphones this year, and the first device is slated to hit in June.
The company said its first Android device would be released this summer in the European markets, and two handsets would come to the U.S. market later this year on two carriers. While it did not say which carriers would pick up Samsung's Android handset, it will likely be T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel because the mobile operators are both part of the Open Handset Alliance.
Samsung did not give details on what the smartphone would look like, but the company wants to put its own stamp on the device. The only commercial Android device, the T-Mobile G1, has deep integration with Google's Web services. But a Samsung device won't necessarily have to have these ties because the OS is open and fully customizable.
"Our commitment is more to the Android phone than the Google experience device," Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, Samsung's executive VP, told Forbes at the CTIA Wireless conference.
Samsung's announcements could give Android some much-needed momentum. The Linux-based OS was expected to play a prominent role at Mobile World Congress and CTIA Wireless this year, but only HTC showed off an Android-powered handset. While developers are still interested in the OS, new handsets are important in attracting consumers who may be looking to buy the Palm Pre or the updated iPhone.
While few details have emerged about new handsets, multiple vendors are committed to releasing Android-powered smartphones this year. HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Asus-Garmin will have multiple devices, but it's unclear if they will strip out the deep Google connectivity for their smartphones.