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Sunday, April 27, 2008
T-Mobile USA Getting an Android Smartphone by Year's End

An executive for T-Mobile USA says this wireless network operator will introduce an Android-based smartphone during the fourth quarter of this year.

Joe Sims, the head of this company's broadband and new business division, says he has seen prototypes of this device, and he's impressed, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

He didn't, however, give any details on this upcoming model, other than to say that it will be consumer-oriented. A good candidate is the HTC Dream, which HTC says will be the first on the market running this Linux-based operating system.

This isn't the first time a T-Mobile executive has talked about their company's plans to release an Android-based smartphone this year, but the previous comment came from CEO Hamid Akhavan, who could have been talking about either Europe or the U.S. Sims remarks clearly refer to the U.S. side of the company.

Not Just T-Mobile

T-Mobile is hardly the only telecom with an interest in Android; virtually every wireless carrier says it is looking into it.

Sayeed Choudhury, a systems software product manager for Qualcomm, says there are at least five smartphones in development now that will run this operating system and use Qualcomm chips.

Still, people are going to have to be patient. T-Mobile's promise to introduce a model late this year puts it at the forefront in the race to release the first Android-based smartphone.

And the telecoms aren't dragging their feet. The group behind this operating system is still putting the finishing touches on it.

This group is called the Open Handset Alliance, and it's a collection of 30+ companies, including Intel, TI, Sprint, T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and Wind River, but being led by Google.

Android will consist of a Linux-based operating system, middleware, and key mobile applications. Many of these are likely to tie into Google's services, like Gmail and Google Maps.

Because this platform will be open source, the Alliance hopes it will be quickly extended to incorporate new technologies as they emerge.

In addition, it will be open to third-parties to create applications using Java.

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