After much anticipation and rumors, Google Inc launched its
wireless product yesterday - an Android platform for mobile devices
but not a phone as most people expected.
Google also partnered big names in telecommunications, including
China Mobile and Motorola, to promote the new mobile system, which
will be the world's fifth mainstream handset platform.
Together, the companies are forming a group called the Open
Handset Alliance, which will use Google's Android platform. Other
alliance members include T-Mobile, HTC and Qualcomm.
Google said the new platform is "one of the most progressive,
developer-friendly, open source licenses," to build new services
for mobile devices and is low cost for users, Google said in a
The first mobile phone with Android will be available in the
second half of next year, Google said.
"China Mobile believes an open platform will improve application
and consumers' Internet experience. That will help popularize smart
phones," Huang Xiaoqing, president of the mobile carrier's research
center, said in the statement.
China Mobile is the world's biggest mobile carrier by number of
subscribers and aims to improve profitability via provision of more
non-voice services to smart phone users.
In the third quarter, sales of smart phones, which refer to
high-end phones with an advanced platform such as Linux or Windows
Mobile, totalled 6.07 million in China, a quarter of the total
market size, according to CCID Consulting, a research firm under
the Ministry of Information Industry.
(Shanghai Daily November 7, 2007)