Google predicts that some 18 to 20 phones, from eight to nine manufacturers, will come with Android OS installed on them by the end of the year. Although Android is open-source, manufacturers will be able to sign distribution deals with Google in order to pre-install their phones with more options such as Google Apps. The Android OS is widely predicted to also make the jump to mini-notebooks, also known as "netbooks," soon.
Google's Android mobile operating system
could be running on 18 to 20 devices by the end of the year, according to Andy
's senior director for mobile platforms.
Speaking at the Google I/O Developer Conference in San
Francisco, Rubin further said that eight or nine
manufacturers would be involved in the creation of the Android-equipped phones,
but reports have him declining to name which ones.
Android will continue to be open source. Manufacturers will have the
option of installing Android "obligation-free" onto their devices, which means
the user will have access to the OS but not Google Apps such as Gmail. A second
option for manufacturers that sign a distribution agreement with
Google will allow them to pre-install Google Apps onto their devices. The third
option, called the "Google Experience," opens up the manufacturer's devices to
Google Apps and the Android Market.
Phones that fall under the "Google Experience" will also
be branded with the Google logo on the physical handset.
In April, Google rolled out the Google Android 1.5
, based on the "Cupcake"
branch of the Android Open Source project, and incorporating APIs for features
such as home screen widgets, home screen framework, media framework and speech
A number of companies have announced plans to roll out Android-equipped
HTC is currently
preparing Google Android smartphones for the Chinese and Canadian markets for a
June rollout. A May 26 report published in The Wall Street Journal suggested
that, in China, HTC would load Android onto a version of
its Magic phone that would retail for around $730
. For the Canadian market, Android will reportedly be loaded onto HTC Dream
and HTC Magic smartphones,
via Rogers Wireless.
Analysts have previously suggested that Android, which originally rolled
out in August 2008, will be running on about 12 percent of global
smartphones by 2012. On top of this, Android is also being ported onto
mini-notebooks, also known as "netbooks," as an operating system. With research
firm IDC estimating that netbook shipments
will grow from 11.4 million in 2008 to 22 million in 2009, the market represents
a potentially massive growth area for Android.
In an April earnings call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggested that he was "excited
that that investment is occurring" in Android-equipped netbooks.