Under-the-radar chatter and credible rumors have been floating around out there regarding T-Mobile launching the first Android smart phone by the end of the year. To top that off, they are doing so on an HTC smart phone, codename DREAM, finally giving them some position in the higher-end smart phone market. For those of you who do not know what Android is, that would be Google’s mobile OS. In other words – watch out Miscrosoft, here comes Google…again. Thanks to TMonews.com for a link to the FCC filing for the new device – it’s official. Yet T-Mobile is not making any big announcements just yet.
Anybody who knows me well will have noticed that I have been a loyal fan of HTC mobiledevices for about 3 years now (my wife would actually say that I have a mistress named HTC – actually I believe she named it more specifically – “that damn thing”, who spends more time with me than she does). It seems at times that the onlyissue with the device has nothing to do with the device, but rather the potentially buggy Microsoft OS. That being said, I’ve been rather happy with the OS, all things considered (things being the gazillion programs and apps running on my device). It does crash from time to time, but hey, I work it hard. Of particular note areSPB Mobile Shell and SPB Insight, part of an “always-on” suite of software that makes the windows mobile OS look, feel and act more like the iPhone – scratch that – better than an iPhone, complete with my select RSS feeds streaming into my device and accessible via one tap. All this with a changeable battery, a compact enough qwerty keyboard and the ability to type horizontally (Apple, seriously?).
So what’s the big deal about Android you ask? Android provides an open source platform which will allow for the interoperability of features and applications, and a fully customizable interface and experience. The OS does not differentiate between the phone’s installed and third-party applications, it . Developers will have access to API’s in order to create applications, and consumer demand will drive the best apps home. Google has set aside a VC fund of $10 millionto fuel some of the ideas that they deem most interesting and having the most traction. With Apples iPhone apps store selling $1 million of apps per since it’s debut about a month ago, Steve Jobs was recently quoted saying that maybe this will grow to be a $1 billion dollar business “at some point in time”, to which he added, “who knows”. Sounds like it’s definitely maybe happening to me!
Granted the Apple and the iPhone are brands that have become part of pop culture, and a current cultural phenomenon, but then again, so is Google…