Google's buzzometer is gradually heating up as the launch date of the first Android-based smartphone inches nearer; the date has been confirmed as the 23rd of September and now, the price is said to have been fixed at USD 199 (which would roughly translate into a magical GBP 99 in UK or Eur 129 in Europe Mainland).
The phone - which should be available in stores in November - will be on a two-year contract which will be putting it head to head against the iPhone (and other high end smartphones) which command premium contract tariffs and long contract terms.
Also, according to the WSJ, Android smartphones will also show the Google brand, something that Microsoft and Intel already do with PCs and laptops sold worldwide (Intel inside anyone?).
The HTC Dream which is rumoured to be called the T-Mobile G1 will look more like a minuscule laptop like a proper traditional mobile phone and this might give us a hint at the type of devices that Google might be planning in a near future.
Not surprisingly, a Chinese version of the smartphone is in development for China Mobile, which could open the world's biggest mobile phone market to Google overnight.. in which case, early developers will be playing a crucial role to get enough momentum to produce more apps.