MWC: Vodafone to Offer Google Android on HTC Magic
BARCELONA, Spain--While news from the Android front has been rather
quiet here at Mobile World Congress, mobile network operator Vodafone
announced it would be releasing the second "Google Phone," the HTC
Magic, a smartphone powered by the search engine giant's mobile
operating system Android.
The exclusive contract between handset maker HTC, which has been busy at MWC launching potential Apple iPhone killers, and Vodafone marks the second occasion an Android phone has been announced, the first being the G1, launched in September by HTC and offered exclusively by T-Mobile. Available in the spring, the Magic will be available in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France, as well as Italy, though not exclusively through Vodafone.
"Delivering an unbeatable mobile Internet experience for our
customers is a priority for Vodafone, so we are very excited to be
introducing our first Android-powered smartphone in the spring," says
Vodafone's global director of terminals Patrick Chomet. "Following our
joining of the Open Handset Alliance, we have worked very closely with
HTC to bring this cool new phone to the market. Our customers want to
access a wide range of the most attractive mobile devices to help them
make the most of their time - the HTC Magic helps meet that need."
The Magic is a tablet-style device that Vodafone says offers
"unprecedented compactness" for an Android-based smartphone and
provides the user with broad flexibility for personalization via the
application-rich Android Market. Available in white in the United
Kingdom, Spain and France, black in Germany and in both colors in
Italy, Vodafone says the Magic will be for sale in several other
markets over the next few months.
"The HTC Magic embodies the compact style and sophistication for which
HTC has come to be known, with the powerful and intuitive Internet
experience for which the Android platform was designed," says HTC
president and CEO Peter Chou. "We are proud of our partnership with
Vodafone and excited about making the Android-powered HTC Magic
available to Vodafone customers in Europe."
The Magic will be available for free depending on various price plans, Vodafone announced. It features a 3.2-inch QVGA touch screen display and features a trackball and navigational buttons. It also includes a variety of email options such as Google Mail, POP3 and IMAP as well as Google Talk for instant messaging. Internet capabilities come in the form of an Android-optimized Webkit browser preloaded with Google applications like Google Maps, Google Search and popular video hosting Web site YouTube.
"The announcement of the HTC Magic is an important step for Android and the Open Handset Alliance," says Google's senior director of mobile platforms Andy Rubin. "With it, Vodafone is opening up the mobile Web for consumers across Europe and giving more third-party developers a platform on which they can build the next wave of killer applications."