Google Launching Mobile Device Platform

For months there has been wild speculation about Google getting into the mobile phone business or getting into the OS game, strangely enough both rumors are actually true.  Even stranger is that they're actually the same rumor: Google and partners are developing a completely new mobile device platform: Android.

So what have Google and their partners managed to come up with?  A completely open OS with a lot of promise:

“Android holds the promise of unprecedented benefits for consumers, developers and manufacturers of mobile services and devices. Handset manufacturers and wireless operators will be free to customize Android in order to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost. Developers will have complete access to handset capabilities and tools that will enable them to build more compelling and user-friendly services, bringing the Internet developer model to the mobile space. And consumers worldwide will have access to less expensive mobile devices that feature more compelling services, rich Internet applications and easier-to-use interfaces -- ultimately creating a superior mobile experience.”

We're eager to get our hands on a device featuring Android, but it looks like we're going to be cooling our heels until sometime in the second half of 2008.  We also can't help but wonder if this development will cause any friction between Google and Apple, who has recently partnered with Google to develop applications for the iPhone.