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Google Ponders On Android Future After G1's "Timid" Launch

The launch of the first Android phone yesterday did not spark as much buzz and frenzy as when the original iPhone was launched. There were queues formed outside the T-Mobile Store on Oxford Circus from early morning but early reports indicate that G1 phones have justsold reasonably..

Mobiletoday (opens in new tab) indicates that 150 G1 handsets were sold in T-Mobile's flagship store at launch, which although spectacular, is not impressive, especially when Android has to face so many competitors in the marketplace.

The phone will be on sale nationwide as from tomorrow and will be backed by a massive advertising campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi and revolving around Google's iconic "Pin and Speech Bubble" duo.

But the market needs a David to match Apple's Goliath phone and the fact that online reviews have been generally positive about the phone means that Google earned some cookie points. The search giant has also slapped a link to the G1 phone on its own search engine to improve exposure.

Speaking of exposure, the iPhone still generates much more buzz than the G1 Android with Google's own Trends features - which is based on the average worldwide traffic for a particular term - shows that the iPhone generates at least 10 times more news (opens in new tab) reference volume compared to the G1.

Other than HTC, Google is also busy to get other manufacturers (and networks) onboard. Samsung and Motorola are already believed to be working on Android-based smartphones although incidentally, it is one company which is not part of the initial 34-member Open Handset Alliance (opens in new tab) that is generating the biggest buzz.

Asus is already thinking of bringing Android in the Smartphone. We've pondered before about Asus building an Android laptop (like the EEE) but it looks like Asus will instead launch a pure Android Smartphone in 2009.

But Google has been uncannily timid about the G1 and the fact that it has only 50 applications in the Android marketplace is something that can only serve to slow the adoption of the Android smartphone as an all-rounder device.

Apple had more than 800 applications available in its App Store days after it was opened and this richness encouraged iPhone users to try and download applications, loads of them.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.