FCC Gives Green Light To Google's Android Phone

When I was at the Linux conference two weeks ago, there were several organizations presenting open source mobile options. If Google, Motorola and HTC end up releasing and getting a positive response from the consumer market we are likely to see a flood of competing mobile options.

As much as I have enjoyed the iPhone applications that have been released from 3rd parties, there have been additional firmware issues (like the whole iPod shutting down and erasing last week). The $200 per month fee to run an iPhone on the AT&T network is also a hindrance and one would think that the price points would come down with more competition on th 3G network and the touch screen innovation.

By Marin Perez
August 19, 2008 03:01 PM

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The HTC Dream will run Google’s operating system as well as sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G capabilities over T-Mobile’s networks.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG)’s Android operating system is one step closer to commercial availability as the first Android-powered handset has been given the green light by the Federal Communications Commission.

The handset is being made by High Tech Computer, and the documentation confirms that the device is being called the “Dream.” Keeping in line with recent reports, the handset will support T-Mobile’s 3G network.

In the documentation, there’s mention of a “jog ball,” which many expect to be similar to the trackball found on Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) devices like the BlackBerry Bold. The documents also reveal the device will have 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth capabilities.

The FCC documentation does not include pictures of the device, but it is expected to sport a large touch screen that will slide out to reveal a five-row QWERTY keyboard. While the device probably will have features like mobile e-mail, Web browsing, and calendaring, it may not have robust business features as Google is aiming the mobile platform at the broader consumer market.

Representatives from Android, HTC and T-Mobile are sticking to the previously announced fourth quarter 2008 time frame but reports suggest that the handset could hit the market as soon as October.

After months of speculation that Google was working on a mobile handset, the search giant announced last November it would develop a Linux-based operating system with the goal of creating an open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. An industry consortium known as the Open Handset Alliance was formed to advance this goal as well, and it includes members like Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Intel (NSDQ: INTC), Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), and more.

The move will also allow Google to expand its lucrative digital advertising business into the mobile market. But the search company may be facing some stiff competition as users and developers may be drawn to the existing players like Windows Mobile, Apple, RIM, and Symbian.

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