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20 Google Android Phones To Hit the Market Before 2010

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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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.