Samsung Plans 3 Google Android Smartphones in 2009
The Google Android operating system will be on
three new phones from Samsung in 2009. One will launch outside the United States in June, and the other two will come afterward from
different U.S. carriers, likely Sprint and T-Mobile.
Samsung might have launched the phones sooner, Samsung Executive Vice President Won-Pyo Hong told Forbes, but, "Some operators were concerned about the vision Google has [and] that affected [timing]," Hong said.
Samsung announced in 2008 that it was planning devices using the Android OS, and both Sprint and T-Mobile were game, although Sprint later backed away.
Explaining Sprint's move, Ars Technica reported on April 5 that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse-in an October interview that was later retracted-was critical of Google's handling of the platform. While Hesse praised Google's vision, he suggested it needed to be more pragmatic about carrier requirements.
Samsung's Hong also told Forbes that the two U.S. phones will look quite different, with each carrier putting its stamp on its offering, and that Samsung, for its part, was more interested in making an Android phone than a "Google Experience device."
Google seems to have since eased its grip on the reins a bit, encouraging more manufacturers to consider Android.
Notably, Verizon Wireless had said its smartphone platform of choice for 2009 would be LiMo Foundation's LiMo, but in an April 1 press announcement at CTIA Wireless, the carrier said it was keeping its options open.
"We will not be in a position where we shun one operating system in favor [of] another operating system. We want to see what works well over time," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told reporters.
Manufacturers, however, seem to need less coaxing, and HP, Dell and Acer all have Android-based netbooks in the works.