By November 6, 2007

Google announce gPhone – a software platform

After months of rumour and speculation about Google’s possible entry in to the mobile phone market they have today finally announced the gPhone but it’s not a piece of hardware or phone in its own right but rather an open software platform or “Open Handset Alliance” (OHA).

So far there are 34 members of the Alliance, including NVIDIA, Intel, Texas Instruments, Synaptics (haptics!), Marvell, Qualcomm (chips), Motorola, Samsung, TMO, Sprint, LG, HTC, KDDI and DOCOMO from Japan and China Mobile Comm. Corp. You’ll notice a number of companies missing from the list above: Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Blackberry/RIM, Apple, Verizon, AT&T and, finally, Microsoft.

The first phones using the so-called Google “software stack” will be available in the second half of 2008.

“This is going to bring the internet into cell phones in a very cool way,” Andy Rubin, Google’s director of mobile platforms, told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Rubin’s firm, called Android, was bought by Google in 2005 and the software it developed forms the basis of the new stack.

Google’s Android software will be provided to handset makers free of charge and could lead to a price war for operating system licenses and potentially cheaper handsets.

In the United States mobile networks such as Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile will carry the Google-powered phones.

Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC, said the agreement to join the OHA did not mean the firm would stop the use of other operating systems on its platforms.

“We do have commitments with some carriers and will continue with those lines,” he said.

We’ll bring you more gPhone news as we get it.

Posted by: Matt

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Posted in: News

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More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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