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Gadgets -Report: Google, Open Handset Alliance Off to a Promising Start with Android

November 14, 2008

Report: Google, Open Handset Alliance Off to a Promising Start with Android

By Mae Kowalke
TMCnet Senior Editor
Anytime a significantly different smartphone is introduced, analysts and users alike spend a considerable amount of time considering the usefulness of the new product and its potential impact on the future of the market. For 2008, probably the best two examples of this were Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone 3G and the Android-based G1 from T-Mobile (News - Alert).

In the latter case, at least one report indicates that T-Mobile is on the right track with its smartphone, based on the Google-spearheaded open Android (News - Alert) operating system.
Android was first introduced last November, in conjunction with launch of the Open Handset Alliance, an industry consortium that initially consisted of 34 handset manufacturers, chipmakers and mobile operators. The goal: accelerate innovation for mobile devices, and help bring to market handsets and services based on the Android platform.
A year later, one handset that runs Android has been introduced: T-Mobile’s G1, announced in September. This smartphone, which is probably best described as a competitor to iPhone rather than BlackBerry, combines a touch-screen and standard QWERTY keyboard with mobile Web tools focused on Google’s online applications (Maps, Gmail, YouTube, etc.).
Market research firm Strategy Analytics released a report Wednesday indicating that Google and the Open Handset Alliance (News - Alert) have largely succeeded in adding value to the mobile experience with Android.
Assembled by Strategy Analytics’ (News - Alert) Wireless Device Lab, the report, “Promising Debut for Android as Google Adds Value to Mobile Experience,” evaluated Google’s value-added services available on the G1. The research firm’s conclusions are based on hands-on analysis of T-Mobile’s new smartphone.
For the report, users evaluated a variety of traditional mobile phone features — personal information management (PIM), messaging — and innovations unique to the G1 like one-click Google searches, customizable touch home screen, and the Android Market.
Strategy Analytics analyst Paul Brown said the first iteration of Android is promising, thanks to “compelling” features and “appealing experience innovations.”
Kevin Nolan, vice president at Strategy Analytics, expressed a similar sentiment about the Android platform.  
 “Strategy Analytics believes that the experience will improve further as developers and integrators offer cool new applications and as the integration between platform and future devices becomes more seamless,” Nolan said.  
Related News
  • T-Mobile's G1 Phone Hits the U.K. Market
  • Out-of-Box Experience Positive for T-Mobile G1
  • Waiting for Google Android Phone, United Kingdom Gets a Peek at Apps
  • Stars Align for T-Mobile's Open Source Google Android Phone Launches
  • Review Finds that G1 from T-Mobile and Google Lives up to Hype, Mostly
  • Google G1 Android Phone Has Over One Million Pre-Orders
  • T-Mobile's G1 Phone Opens the Way for Impact of Google's Android Platform
  • T-Mobile's Android Phone, G1, to Run on Qualcomm's Dual-Core Chipset

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Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae's articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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