News From Telecom World

First Google phone to sell for $199

Posted on: September 18, 2008

The first mobile device powered by Google Inc.’s “Android” mobile phone software is expected to sell for $199 and will showcase the Google brand, people familiar with the matter say, a departure from the standard practice of listing only the manufacturer and wireless carrier on handsets.

The phone, which is being manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC Corp., will require a service contract with T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, which plans to announce the phone Sept. 23. The carrier plans to unveil new data plans in conjunction with the device that will be “aggressively priced,” the people said.

T-Mobile is hoping the price of the phone and the data service will make the device attractive to the mass consumer market, rather than just gadget lovers with deep pockets. Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. set $200 as the rough bar for consumer-oriented smart-phones when they priced the “3G” iPhone at that level this summer. Some handsets in the category are even less expensive, such as Sprint Nextel Corp.’s $129 Instinct by Samsung.

Google is indirectly helping to reduce T-Mobile’s costs by contributing resources toward development of the phone, the people said. The Internet giant wants to see the phone sell at high volumes to encourage other manufacturers and carriers to produce Android handsets. Google’s brand will be listed alongside that of HTC and T-Mobile on the phone.

There is a general industry trend toward software makers working more closely with carriers and hardware manufacturers in developing phones. Another T-Mobile device, the Shadow, was built through close coordination between Microsoft Corp., T-Mobile and HTC.

The new phone will have features similar to the iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.’s popular BlackBerry devices. It is expected to have a large touch-screen, a track-ball for navigation and a swivel-out full keyboard. And it will run Android, a set of operating software that Google has developed that supports an advanced Web browser, various Google applications such as search and Google Maps, and a marketplace for applications made by other companies.

Other carriers such as China Mobile and Sprint have said they would develop Android-powered phones, but some have experienced delays in integrating Google’s services with their own, people familiar with those companies’ plans said.

Comments: Apple iphone has been quite popular in Grameenphone. Many of our bosses (especially in delvista) are using iphone.

Source: Total Telecom


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