T-Mobile may be 1st to offer Google's new smartphone
T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer a mobile phone powered by Google's Android software, according to people briefed on the company's plans. The phone will be made by HTC, one of the largest makers of mobile phones in the world, and is expected to go on sale in the United States as early as October.
The device is expected to match many of the capabilities of Apple's iPhone and other smartphones that perform computer-like functions.
The phone's release date depends on how soon the Federal Communications Commission certifies that the Google software and the HTC phone meet network standards.
Apple's iPhone has shaken the cellphone industry, mostly because AT&T and Apple have allowed owners to download any number of applications to their phones.
Phones using Google's software will do the same thing. Google is making the Android operating system software available free to cellphone carriers and manufacturers who have agreed to provide devices which, like personal computers, allow users to decide which applications run on them.
Google is eager to get the Android platform on phones quickly, because it thinks that the mobile Web is vital to the growth of its digital advertising business. "We can make more money on mobile than we do on the desktop, eventually," Eric E. Schmidt, Google's chief executive, said.
But carriers have their own reasons for wanting devices that are more Internet-friendly. For one, they can charge more for data plans than typical voice plans. And some carriers, like AT&T, are creating their own mobile applications that they hope will also be revenue generators.