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November 05, 2007

Open Handset Alliance: Much More Than A Google Phone

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

It looks like the long-rumored Gphone or googlephone, or whatever it is that my colleagues in the media have been speculating about for the past few weeks, is not a handset after all, but rather an industry alliance with Google (News - Alert) at the very heart of it.

Together with a broad spectrum of leading technology and wireless companies (see member list), the Open Handset Alliance (News - Alert) today announced the development of Android, which is being billed as the “first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices.”
According to Google’s Andy Rubin, Director of Mobile Platforms, “It’s important to recognize that the Open Handset Alliance and Android have the potential to be major changes from the status quo — one which will take patience and much investment by the various players before you’ll see the first benefits. But we feel the potential gains for mobile customers around the world are worth the effort.”
Rubin, writing on the official Google blog page, said that developers looking to start creating for the newly announced platform would have access to an Android software development kit (SDK) that would be available in about a week’s time.
However he stated that consumers would have to wait a little while to see the fruits of the just announced alliance. “If you’re a mobile user, you’ll have to wait a little longer, but some of our partners are targeting the second half of 2008 to ship phones based on the Android platform,” Rubin wrote.
According to the Alliance, “the Android platform will be made available under one of the most progressive, developer-friendly open-source licenses, which gives mobile operators and device manufacturers significant freedom and flexibility to design products.”
Said Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, “Today’s announcement is more ambitious than any single ‘Google Phone’ that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.”
Greg Galitzine (News - Alert) is editorial director of TMCnet. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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