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First Android phone to go public at last today

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 23 September, 2008

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The first handset based on Google's much vaunted Android software platform will finally be unveiled in New York today. Although it is known to be an HTC model, the Dream, as detailed in a recent filing with the FCC, it is likely to be co-branded by Google and the initial carrier of the device, T-Mobile USA.

This is in line with HTC's history as a white label manufacturer, although the increasing profile of its own brand means the Dream may well be offered under its own name by other carriers. It seems the first release will be called T-Mobile G1 and will run on the fourth US cellco's rapidly expanding W-CDMA network, as an exclusive.


Versions for international bands are unlikely to debut until next year, although China Mobile is expected to be the second carrier to gain an Android device, probably from a local vendor.

Customers are expected to be able to get their hands on the T-Mobile Dream on November 10, and the Open Handset Alliance, which supports and develops the Android platform, said last week that its APIs are now stable and "we don't expect any major changes between 0.9 and version 1.0, which will ship on retail handsets." That was achieved, however, at the cost of some features, notably support for apps with integrated Bluetooth.

More later on the first Android handset and the platform's chances in the market.

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