According to a report by Korea’s ETNews, Samsung is set to release its first Google Android-enabled phone for North America by the second quarter of 2009. The company is currently in the development process for the phone. To meet its goals, Samsung has added 30 experts in Linux and Java to the task force team of its information and communications division, bringing the team to a total of 80 developers. The article quotes an official from Samsung as saying that the company is accelerating development for the phone in order to meet carriers’ demands.
The phone will be available on Sprint Nextel’s and T-Mobile’s networks. If you’ll recall, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse made a comment back in October and said Android (in its current form) is not “good enough to put the Sprint brand on it.” If the report from Korea’s ETNews is true, then it appears that Android has made enough progress to garner Sprint’s favorable attention. Given some of the carrier’s recent struggles, it’s good the company is focusing on quality and on launching new products to stay competitive.
We haven’t seen official photos of the phone, but Samsung is expected to use a full touch screen form factor similar to that of the Omnia or Instinct. The Google phone will include the Google Map based location information service, messenger G-Talk, the G-mail application, and Google Search.
This news is important for all phone manufacturers and carriers, as the wireless industry is watching this new platform, trying to determine how and when it will really take off. We’re excited about this open-source platform, and are hopeful that Samsung’s announcement will light a fire underneath other manufacturers and carriers to start offering additional Android phones. After all, we’re all for new products and new ideas, especially when they make our lives easier or bring us a good product for a reasonable price.