Vodafone has announced that it will be shipping the HTC Magic, the second phone based on Google's Android platform, later in April 2009; punters can already pre-register to get it first.
The phone is essentially a leaner, slimmer version of the G1 Android which is currently available exclusive only on T-Mobile for £35 per month on a 18 month contract.
At less than half the thickness, the HTC Magic offers the same set of features and will be available only from Vodafone in UK, Spain, Germany and France but not in Italy.
Magic will also integrate a new Android firmware called Cupcake which is essentially an upgrade to the firmware on the G1. It will however shun the G1's keyboard to keep down the thickness.
The device still packs a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus (but without flash), Google's set of web services (Google Maps, Google Search etc) as well as HSDPA, WiFi and GPRS compatibility.
Vodafone has also managed to get the exclusive distribution deal for the RIM Blackberry Storm although it seems that the G2 will almost certainly be a better seller.
Users will be able to download applications for their smartphones straight from the Android Marketplace which already has 800 applications and is set to start selling paid for apps.
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Vodafone has managed to grab Android number 2 to offer a more complete range. It becomes the second operator in the UK to launch a mobile phone on this platform. However, it remains a mystery as to why manufacturers have been so shy to release more smartphones based around Android. And why the exclusivity clause?