Beyond the G1: What’s Next for Android?

In a few days, all of the hype and speculation will come to a head.  Come next Wednesday, the world will have had its first official look at what Android will do for them in their daily lives.  We’ll see what it is that has had HTC, Google, and T-Mobile keeping late nights these last few months.  So what’s next?

Usually, the popular thing to do is to pick apart the current handset and find weaknesses and missing features.  We’re probably going to hear things about T-Mobile‘s 3G network and how much of Android’s experience hinges upon it.  I’m sure we’ll also hear about the lack of applications available when contrasted to the App Store from Apple.  And among all the other stuff, we’ll be reading about the internally memory when compared to the iPhone.  Sure, an expansion card is nice, but what about 8GB,16GB ,or 32GB built in?  After all, if these things are going to replace our laptops and desktops some day, then why can’t we have hard drive space that we know exists on other devices?

One of the things that makes Android so appealing is that within a few months(or even weeks), we’ll have the next Android handset ready to roll out the door.  Smart money says to look at Sprint for this one.  It’s highly unlikely that T-Mobile has a second model ready to go so quickly.  Yes, we know that T-Mobile owns the domain name rights to what looks to be calling for the G2 through G5, but we don’t know anything beyond that.  It could be that a G2 ends up being a flip phone and a G3 is an all touch model.  Time will tell.

It’s hard to believe that a non-OHA member will end up with the second Android handset, so we could safely assume that Verizon and AT&T will be after Sprint, if at all.  If I had to guess, I’d say that either HTC or Samsung will be the first Sprint phones to run the operating system.  Motorola and LG are committed to the cause as well, so don’t be surprised if we have something from them by the end of Q1 ’09 either.

By this time next year, we could have 8-10 handsets with Android, possibly on all major carriers.  Who knows how easy it will be to unlock the G1 handset?  If it’s as easy as they make it for the iPhone, you’ll see the G1 on AT&T and in Europe by the end of October.  Let’s not forget that Android is only being released in its 1.0 version, too.  Perhaps the API’s for Bluetooth and Gtalk get hammered out in the next few months and 2.0 is found to be the perfect OS for all the world!

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  1. Recently in an interview to, Joel Espelien vice president of packet videos, strategy (OHA Member) said that 4 of the top 5 handset manufacturers are already working on android phones…. Since we know Nokia may never join android bandwagon, expect Sony Ericsson to come out with an android phone in ’09…. Also to add to this, they have recently said that Xperia line is not limited to WinMo….

    And hey one more…. ASUS has been invited by Google to join OHA….hhmmmmm…. All in all, what we are seeing now is only a tip of an iceberg…. In 2-3 years, android will be the 800 pound Gorilla in the room & pushing for openness!

  2. Shocking to see no mention of anything besides phones – Is this “Android Guys” or “PHONE ONLY Android Guys”?

    I urge you all ( and the editors of this blog ) to stop binding Android to just mobile phones, it’s an operating system for ANY connected object. Ultimately the number of non-phone devices will out number carrier issued handsets, like 10 to 1 ( 100 to 1? ).

    An Android powered Mobile Internet Device (MID) that uses WiMax and SIP ( Skype or whatever ) is much more likely to be the “break out” device that makes Android pervasive. I saw in the presentation the means to seemly hand off from WiMax to WiFi, to theres zero reason to think that only the mobile phone operators are the only way to get Android devices.

    We all know my opinion about the carriers, and Android will suffer from their mismanagement/greed/forking. So look to Personal Media Players, appliances, Nokia 810 form factor MIDs, refrigerators, TV set top boxes, industrial machinery, scientific instruments, even apparel and automobiles for you real world Android success stories – not phones.

  3. does any one know how to become the member of the group that has access to private API s of android and has permission to work on an android device?

    Best Regards,

  4. The 4 other manufacturers beside HTC:

    Motorola —-> they licensed TAT’s Cascades UI for their Android phone.
    Sony Ericsson —–> most probably the Xperia line…. very excited about this one.
    Samsung ——> rumored since last year to be developing a high-end Android phone.
    ASUS ——-> Invited directly by Google themselves for, “their experience in manufacturing amazing handsets”.

    Although I doubt next year will be exciting in an Android way. Most likely, TEGRA powered phones running WM7 will get all the wow.

    I know I’m getting one once it’s out on a qwerty device.

  5. Todd – You have been coming to AndroidGuys for as long as I can recall. You above anyone else should know that I have covered Android on more than one occasion when it comes to the platform on other devices. For instance, I’ve referred to set top boxes off and on for almost a year now.

    I’ve also referred to MIDs all along and just recently wrote the piece on the Gizmondo device. Yeah, sure… I could have said more about it in this article, but I wanted to talk about Android as we know it right now.

    Besides all this… aren’t you the one who emailed me around a week ago to “suggest Android Guys start to leave speculating as a lesser concern, and begin to focus on the realities of Android?” That’s like asking for it both ways.

    Android does not exist yet for other devices or hardware. I feel like I do a pretty fair job balancing confirmation info with speculation info and there’s not been anything big that’s gone under my radar and not been talked about here. Don’t forget this is a blog and not an end-all-be-all source of news.


  6. @Todd:

    Other than the Gizmondo gaming device, I’m not aware of any non-phone Android devices under development. We can’t post news, or even much speculation about future news, without something to go on. If you have tips, feed ’em to us!

    That being said, it’s eminently possible that Asus joining OHA is a precursor to launching a line of MID/UMPC/Arrington-devices powered by Android. It’s a logical move, given their experience with Linux-powered netbooks.

    “Ultimately the number of non-phone devices will out number carrier issued handsets, like 10 to 1 ( 100 to 1? ).”

    While I think your stat, as written, has issues, you have the essence of a key point in there. I long for the day when non-carrier-issued devices outsell carrier-issued devices by 10 to 1 or 100 to 1. Non-carrier-issued devices have SIM slots and include your MID-style devices, never-locked phones, ebook readers, etc. If you want to reduce the power of the carriers, reduce their ability to issue devices.

  7. @AndroidGuys (Author)

    You have taken that private email I sent ( Thanks for referencing it publicly by the way! ) I was speaking specifically about moving away from speculating about T-Mobile and add more practical blog post subjects like examples of real word uses of a location aware phone. But whatever.

    Texas instruments has non-phone devices running Android naively eight now, not in emulation. Plenty of smart people have put Android on 810 tablets – like today. For real. Where’s the report on that? Where the interview with the PR people from WiMax and their plan for Android devices?

    Guess it’s up to me to start a new Android blog that will actually cover the Android operating system uniformly and not degenerate into a advertisement for Deutches Telecom.


  8. Todd, You’ve been very vocal in regards to what we should cover and to how we should do it. You’ve aired us out here in public quite a bit in the past. Perhaps I shouldn’t have referenced the email, and I am sorry. I don’t want to get into deleting comments here, but at the same time, I have an instinctive feeling to defend myself. Looking back, it might not have been the best way.

    The only thing that has dominated Android news this last month has been T-Mobile. We don’t try to make the news, just report and opine on it. Going forward, it will be easier to focus on the realities as more becomes available.

    We’ve offered more than a few times to let you regular readers and comment leavers a chance to put stuff online here. If there is something we need to be writing about, then you guys should call us on it. The feeling we get is that “you” unhappy folks don’t like our direction sometime but won’t help change our course.

    We’re not in the pocket of anyone here and don’t plan on it. We got grief for writing so much about Sprint and Samsung over the summer. We do our best to level things out. We’re not full time writers here and have to gauge our time as effectively as possible. Do we want to talk about other things? Yes. Would I like another interview or two? Of course. Once this G1 comes out and the speculation is gone, our focus will shift back to all the other OHA stuff that got us here.

    You’re obviously free to do your own blog and I’d be more than happy to link to your stuff. My thinking is, I’d rather have you on my team as an occasional writer who give his own perspective. The same goes for you other regulars. Got something to say? Sign up as a contributor!

  9. As for me I’m perfectly OK with Androidguys covering Android phones ONLY. It is, first and foremost, a mobile phone platform.

    Last thing I want to see on the site is an in-depth review of a Refrigerator running Android.

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