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Android “G2” emerges, as G1 preps for Europe

Jan 21, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Images have surfaced of a keyboard-less “G2” Android phone reportedly being readied by HTC. Meanwhile, T-Mobile announced a G1 rollout in Europe, Kogan's Android-based Agora smartphone has been postponed, and Android is gaining a “Cupcake” update and key retrieval system, while losing a core developer.

The two images of the rumored HTC G2 appeared on GizModo, but there were few additional details on the smartphone. According to the site, the candybar-style device (pictured above in one of the shots) lacks a keyboard, and is thinner than the G1 (pictured below, right). Like the G1, the G2 is said to have a 3.2-megapixel camera. The G2 is due to ship from T-Mobile in May, says the site.

(Click for details)

Commenting on the photos, eWEEK's Clint Boulton notes that the G2 may end up being more popular than the G1. “Lots of people dislike the G1 because, with the slideout keyboard and touchscreen, it doesn't seem to know if it wants to be the iPhone or the BlackBerry,” writes Boulton. The new device would put the phone more squarely in competition with the similarly styled Apple iPhone, he suggests. (Meanwhile, the newly announced, Linux-ready Palm Pre shares the same basic candybar touchscreen design, and may add another formidable contender to the smartphone wars.)

Kogan Agora in limbo

Boulton also reports that Kogan Technologies's Kogan Agora Android phone has been postponed indefinitely due to compatibility and other technical problems. The phone (pictured below, left) had been expected to ship by the end of January.

Kogan Agora
(Click for details)

Boulton did not mention the fate of another previously announced Android phone, the i6-Goal from China-based Qigi Future Technology (developer) TechFaith Wireless (manufacturer). As of December, the phone was set to “ship soon” in the Chinese market, and judging from this recent ChinaMail review (translated version), evaluation models of the Windows Mobile version at least are already available.

Many more Android phones are coming from vendors later this year, including Samsung, Motorola, and even tiny Canadian open source development house Koolu, which is preparing an OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner phone that runs Android. And that's just the beginning. In fact, Sci-Tech Today quotes Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis, as saying that of all the major handset manufacturers, only Apple, Nokia, and Research in Motion will not be releasing Android phones.

G1 to ship in Europe — for one Euro

While the world still waits for the second Android phone (or third, if you count the unlocked “Dev Phone 1”, a developer version of the G1 offered by Google) the G1 continues to push forward. Despite its arguably quirky Inspector Gadget-style design, the Android phone has sold in the hundreds of thousands of units in the U.S., according to T-Mobile, which says that over 700 Android applications are now available. And now the G1 is heading for Europe.

On Monday, T-Mobile Germany announced it will offer the T-Mobile G1 starting Feb 2 to consumers in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, and Poland. In Germany, the devices will be sold in a 24-month contract with the company's Combi XS, S, M and L calling plans. In conjunction with the Combi Flat M and L, the G1 is subsidized to as low as a single Euro, says the company.

Cupcakes and keys

Around the same time, Google and the Open Handset Alliance are expected to release a major new update for Android called Cupcake, says the Sci-Tech Today story. The release is expected to add support for video recording and sharing, among other features. One of the driving forces behind Android will not be there for the release, however, as Steven Horowitz, Google's engineering director for Android, has taken a position at as chief technology director, according to the story.

In other Android news, Patrick Townsend Security Solutions (PTSS) announced that its Alliance Key Manager appliance will add support for encryption key retrieval from the Android platform. PTSS says it will provide Android support at no extra charge to its Alliance Key Manager customers.

Stated PTSS lead programmer Paul Ohmart, “Developers will find it easy to deploy encryption key retrieval on Android using our developer's tool kit, giving them the ability to encrypt on Android and decrypt on any major platform.”

Stated Hamid Akhavan, CEO of T-Mobile International AG, “We are proud to offer this unique and exciting handset to our customers on the European continent.”


The eWEEK story on Android may be found here, and the GizModo photo page for the G2 should be here. The Sci-Tech Today story on the G1 Android launch and Horowitz departure should be here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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