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Android release still on course

Ed Hardy

Despite the typical complications of building and launching a mobile operating system from scratch, Google believes that Android, its mobile OS, will be fully available by year's end. Supporting the project, HTC is expected to have the first device with Android running on it and to have it available also before the end of the year.

Getting a new mobile operating system on the market isn't a simple task, as Google and its partners are learning. Still, despite problems HTC says the first device based on Android will definitely debut during the fourth quarter of this year.

According to

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previous reports, the initial Android model -- made by HTC and released by T-Mobile USA -- was originally scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year. Now, however, a statement from HTC's CFO Hui-ming Cheng confirms that this introduction has been moved back to the fourth quarter.

Dreaming about Android smartphones

Google, the company heading up development on Android, has been quite willing to talk openly about it. It will be based on the open-source operating system Linux and strongly encourage third-party development. It will offer robust multitasking, and many of it's bundled applications will tie in to Google's services, like Gmail.

On the other hand, companies have kept a very tight lid on information about the hardware that will be running Android. T-Mobile's first device will be the HTC Dream, which has been described by those who have seen it as being similar in size and shape to the HTC Tilt, a tablet shaped device with a sliding keyboard.

The delay in releasing the Dream isn't because of problems with the hardware, but the Android team is still putting the finishing touches on it.