We’re coming up on the second half of 2008 and now only months away from the first Android handsets. So why do we know so little?
There are 4 handset manufacturers considered to be founding members of the Open Handset Alliance. These companies (HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung) are no slouches as together they account for pretty hefty chunks of the world’s market. Looking at the carriers involved in the OHA, we have Sprint and T-Mobile here in the US and a handful of others overseas. Why is it so hard to get someone to tell us what’s going on behind the scenes?
What is Known
Sadly, this list is will be very short. All but 100% confirmed by a joint press conference is that T-Mobile will be bringing out the HTC “Dream” late this year. It’s likely to drop right around Thanksgiving and the buying season. LG announced back in February that they plan to start shipping Android phones by “late 2008 or early 2009“.
It was also rumored earlier this year that Samsung was going to release two models running Android. The first, a high end model to be put out in September and the other to come at year end for “under $100”. In the 4 months since this rumor, nothing has been said to confirm or deny. The most probable scenario is that this was a bunch of nothing, and one fanboy teasing others.
So after the “Dream” comes along, we don’t have anything official to go off of. This is great if you are HTC, but what about the rest of the community depending on Android to take off? You can’t trickle a phone out here and there and grow an army of Android handsets.
Who is Doing What?
The one maker we’ve yet to hear anything from is Motorola. There’s zero coming out of their camp. I’m not surprised. They have bigger fish to fry right now with their search for a leader and the splitting off of their handset division. I can’t say that excuses things for them though. When the OHA was formed, we were told that each company has to bring something specific to the table and not just attach their name to a list for PR sake.
What do the carriers plan to do in regards to Android? Are they going to offer an entire line of devices running the platform or will there be only 1 or 2 models to pick from at any given time? Will they offer low-tier models on up? We’ve heard officially that Android will work with a trackball. Okay! Great! Who’s gonna make it and which company will provide service?
Andy Rubin said yesterday that Android is already in its “final stages of testing”, and is getting certified by carriers. If that’s true, then the carriers know more about what they plan to do than they are sharing with us. Why the secrets? Hasn’t anyone in these companies learned the value in hyping a product or service? You can’t drop it on us with a month to go and expect people to get behind it. At least not in the ways you’d like us to.
All of this is just my way of telling the Open Handset Alliance to start acting a little more open with us. Pull the curtain back a little bit and show us what’s going on.
You Tell Us
How do you feel about knowing so little in regards to what carriers and handset makers are doing with Android? It’s only months away – Did you expect to know more by now?