The man who fronts Google's Android platform, Andy Rubin, reckons that 20 other new Android-powered smartphones will appear on the market by the end of the year from up to 9 different manufacturers.
Rubin, who came to Google after the later acquired Danger, told the New York Times that he won't disclose which manufacturers would supply the handsets.
There are currently nine handset manufacturers registered with the open handset alliance which is the entity that regroups all companies likely to build Android based mobile phones. All of the big names are there with the exception of Nokia, Microsoft and Apple.
Furthermore, there are only a handful of handsets available on the market. Apart from the HTC G1 and HTC Magic, Samsung has revealed that the I7500 would be coming fairly soon but no other companies have committed any release dates.
Acer and a few other non-OHA members have expressed their interest in building or selling Android-based devices. However, we would bet that mobile networks could take a keen interest in commissioning Android smartphones themselves if manufacturers are shy about it.
For example Vodafone and 3 Networks already have rebadged phones bearing their own names. Since all the major networks - T-Mobile, Telefonica, VodafoneSprint, KDDi, China Mobile - are already part of the OHA, it isn't excluded that some of them decide to go ahead without involving the handset manufacturers.
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Rubin also revealed that there will be three different levels of manufacturer involvement. The first one will see smartphone builders use all of Google applications including Gmail while the second level will see a less stringent approach to licensing. The last tier would be makers who use Google Android as an underlying foundation and customise the platform beyond recognition.
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