Samsung Pushes Back Android Release

Samsung will not introduce a Google Android phone during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week as planned. The manufacturer now expects to introduce the new Android in the second half of the year.

Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile are expected to have new Androids ready for MWC, however. Perhaps Samsung wants the stage to itself for an Android release after the others.

"You don't have to fight to be heard above the crowd and get to see what opponents have before you show your own device to the world," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of strategy and analysis for research group Interpret, in a Newsfactor report.

Samsung has also silenced talk of rolling out a 12-megapixel smartphone at the show.

In a statement a few weeks ago, a Samsung official said, "we are accelerating the development process for Google phone in order to meet the specific need of local carriers."

These operators are said to include Sprint and T-Mobile in The U.S. The Samsung Android would be the former's first and the latter's second 'gPhone.'

T-Mobile became the first operator worldwide to launch a smartphone running on Google's cell phone OS last fall when it rolled out the HTC-built G1 model.

The as-of-yet unnamed Samsung Android phone will sport a touch screen—no word if it'll have a keyboard like the G1. Rumor has it it'll be similar in form factor to Samsung's Omina and Instinct models, which are currently being offered by Sprint.

Android, as a platform for mobile development and an operating system, falls under the auspices of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which is mostly composed of major mobile telephony, semiconductor, and mobile handset players, in addition to Google, of course.

Android is supposed to make it easier and less costly to develop applications for mobile phones—by removing the often complicated pre-qualification regimens and hoops mobile operators often make developers jump through. It is also supposed to offer more flexibility in the devices carriers support and in the kind of phones manufacturers create.

In theory, all of this (more freedom, less cost, greater flexibility) should be experienced by consumers as a result of Android as well. How? By making more advanced cell phones, smartphones and (even) applications cheaper to buy and easier to use, and giving consumers a greater say in the mobile handset they choose to buy and use on their carrier's wireless network.

With only one handset available so far, and in only one market, it’s too early to tell if this will be the case.

James Alan Miller contributed to this article.


Google, Android, smartphones, Samsung, carriers