Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Android Phone in India launched today

Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC launched India's first smartphone on Tuesday that will run on Google's open-source Android operating system.Sources tell ET NOW that Bharti Airtel will be the exclusive carrier for the device that is priced at around Rs 30,000.

The device is likely to provide stiff competition to existing smartphone handset cum application offerings such as Apple's iPhone and iTunes App Store as well as Nokia's N97 and Ovi Store. While both companies declined to comment, a spokesperson for Google told ET NOW that "Android is a freely available open-source platform that anybody is free to develop and use without Google's formal involvement".

The Android phone provides free 100 MB monthly download for Airtel customers.

The phone thus is clearly not going to be branded a 'Google Phone' like the HTC Dream was when it launched late last year in the US as the T-Mobile G1. Since that first commerially available model, HTC has also launched the "Magic" which is identical to the Dream except for a touch-screen keyboard instead of a sliding one.

The phone did not receive the same manic reception in the US as did the Apple iPhone but is expected to emerge as Apple's stiffest competition going forward. The G1's key feature was its ability to wirelessly sync with popular Google web applications such as Gmail, contacts, calender and Google Talk. Apple on the other hand has had little success in getting iPhone users to sync with its propreitary "Mobile Me" web services which are nowhere on the radar when compared to Google's web presence.

Android is a software platform for mobile devices, including netbooks, based on the Linux operating system and although it is officially administered by a consortium of companies called the Open Handset Alliance, Google is the original creator and the unofficial 'anchor company'. Developers can write code for the platform using a flavour of the Java programming language developed by Google. Some open source evengelists have criticized Android for not being "100% open source" accusing Google of keeping some components of the code propreitary in order to control it.

Read on for more about launching of Android Phone at: Economictimes.indiatimes.com/