The smallest of the independent mobile network operators, Hutchinson Whampoa's 3 Network, has confirmed that it will be bringing significantly more Android smartphones to the market in 2010.
The company said that it will introduce six models based on Google's platform before July, up from one. It is currently selling the almost obsolete HTC Hero but has already announced that it will also stock the HTC Desire when it launches next month.
Sony Ericsson and Samsung Android handsets will also go on sale on the network shortly. This could mean that the Xperia X10 will soon be available for 3 customers.
David Kerrigan, the head of Internet services at 3UK, also told Mobile News (opens in new tab), that more than 400,000 customers on 3 are now using Skype although he failed to mention whether or not these were actually bringing revenues for the network.
He said that "We are focussed heavily on providing our mobile internet-powered applications and will make them available to more people this year." before adding "These applications have been important in driving mobile data and will be available as an add-on for all contract tariffs going forward."
Apart from the fact that network coverage from Three is patchy and inconsistent at best (because we've experienced it first hand), there's also the fact that 3 Networks has slowly become one of the more expensive networks on the market as the other four have gradually upped their game.
3 UK Plans the Launch of Six Android Phones (opens in new tab)
Sony Ericsson X10 coming to 3 (opens in new tab)
Sony Ericsson Vivaz HD recording smartphone for 3 Mobile and Vodafone (opens in new tab)
3UK to launch six Android phones (opens in new tab)
3 to launch six Android phones (opens in new tab)