Samsung Electronics will ship its first Android phone in the second quarter of of 2009, says a Korea IT News story. The phone will be released in North America by Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA, and Samsung's Android team reportedly now has 80 developers.
Citing “industry insiders,” the Korea IT News story says that the phone will run the Linux-based, Google-sponsored Android spec, and will be a “full” touchscreen phone, offering Google Map, G-Talk, G-mail, and Google Search.
According to the story, Korea-based Samsung has added 30 experts on Linux and Java to its Android team. Part of the company's information and communications division, the team now numbers 80 developers. The story also quotes a Samsung Electronics executive as saying, “We are accelerating the development process for Google phone in order to meet the specific need of local carriers,” suggesting perhaps that the phone will also be available in Korea.
Android's momentum appears to be strong heading into the holiday season, although the the holiday sales numbers of the first Android phone, the HTC G1 (pictured at top) will tell the tale. Interestingly, the G1 is also offered by T-Mobile, so if the Korea IT News story is correct in stating that the carrier will also bring Samsung's phone to market, the Samsung model may be significantly different than the G1.
Samsung was an original member of the Open Handset Alliance group that sponsors the Android spec, along with Google. The OHA membership recently grew by 14 members. The new members include wireless carriers Vodafone and SoftBank Mobile, as well as handset makers Asus, Huawei, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba. In October, meanwhile, long-time Motorola announced it would focus its Linux handset development on Android.
The Korea IT News story on Samsung's Android phone should be available here.
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