No Android phones until 2009?
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint and China Mobile are each experiencing delays with their Android-based handsets and don’t expect them to launch until 2009.
T-Mobile, another carrier working on an Android-based phone, says that their device is still on track for a 2008 launch but if the others are delayed there’s a decent chance that theirs will miss launching in 2008 as well.
The reasons for the delays at Sprint seem to be that they want to ship their device with some of their own applications pre-installed instead of just using Google’s default system. Sprint may also be skipping 3G and jumping right to 4G (WiMAX) support, but that’s not official yet.
Over at China Mobile the delays seem to be wanting to install their own pre-installed applications as well as some difficulty with translating Android’s interface into Mandarin.
No word yet from Google on these rumored delays.
I wouldn’t say that Android is DOA, but these delays are pretty disappointing if they prove true. I’m sure we’ll see Android-based devices actually ship by mid 2009 (hopefully earlier), but with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold and touchscreen BlackBerry Thunder how relevant will Android-based devices be?
Google doesn’t like to lose, but neither does Apple and RIM. I could see Android as more of a threat to Windows Mobile-based devices than to those by either Apple or RIM.