HTC Planning Three More Google Android Smartphones

Taiwanese handset maker HTC affirms its commitment to Google's Android mobile OS platform, announcing its intent to produce three more Android-based smartphones in 2009.

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC made quite an impression at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: Not only did its two newest smartphones-the Touch Diamond2 and the Touch Pro2-draw widespread media coverage, but so did a Vodafone announcement that it will be releasing the HTC Magic, a smartphone powered by search engine giant Google's mobile operating system Android.
The Wall Street Journal reported that HTC is gearing up to release three more versions of the Google phone this year, including a next-generation version of the smartphone. The report also mentioned HTC's focus on the Chinese market. "This is an important year for our entry into China, especially with China's release of [third-generation mobile phone] licenses," HTC CEO Peter Chou told the Journal. "We hope to have a breakthrough in China this year after entering the Europe and U.S. markets."
Vodafone's MWC announcement was only the second time an operator had opted for Google's platform. The first time was another HTC handset, the G1, launched in September and offered exclusively by T-Mobile. Chou told the Journal that the company plans to release no more than 20 smartphones into the market this year, including the three smartphones based on the open-source Android platform.
In related news, Vodafone UK officially confirmed it will begin selling the HTC Magic smartphone in April. The Magic comes with a 3.2-inch QVGA touch-screen display and features a trackball and navigation buttons for quick access to phone features. It also includes e-mail options such as Google Mail, POP3 and IMAP, as well as Google Talk for instant messaging.
In addition, the Magic includes the Android-optimized Webkit browser, which also features Google Maps and Search, as well as YouTube. The handset comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera and "unprecedented compactness," according to the company release. Available in white in the U.K., Spain and France; black in Germany; and in both colors in Italy, Vodafone said the Magic will be for sale in several other markets over the next few months.
The unveiling of the Android platform on Nov. 5, 2007, was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache license, a free-software and open-source license.