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Dell’s Android phone confirmed

Oct 14, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Dell has confirmed that its Android phone will launch in the U.S. next year, says eWEEK. In other Android news, Samsung is prepping a “Galaxy Lite i5700” for Europe, a music-oriented phone is coming from INQ, Spotify, and Telia, and Verizon is spinning a MiFi-enabled phone, say various reports.

CEO Michael Dell confirmed a recent report that his company is readying an Android smartphone for the U.S. market early next year, says Chris Preimesberger, writing in our sister publication, eWEEK. The Dell CEO was said to have made the remarks in a dinner conversation at an event yesterday, sponsored by the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell has signed a deal with AT&T to carry a modified version of the Dell Mini 3i Android phone sometime next year. The Mini 3i (pictured above, at right) is being offered in China by China Mobile, sporting a modified version of Android called oPhone.

The confirmation arrives after a flurry of Android phone rumors and announcements inr recent weeks. These include last week's Samsung Moment phone, and today's notice from Acer that it is preparing an Acer Liquid smartphone, which runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Galaxy Lite i5700 emerges in Europe

Also in recent weeks, stories have emerged about a new scaled-down version of the Samsung I7500 "Galaxy" Android phone, which was introduced in Europe this spring by Telefonica's O2 network. U.K.-based Dialaphone now claims to have tested a prototype version of the new "Galaxy Lite i5700." (No, that's not a typo — they simply swapped the 5 and the 7 in the numeric part of the name.) Dialaphone's photo of the Lite i5700 is pictured at left.

The Galaxy Lite i5700 is similar to the I7500 (pictured at right), but offers a slightly smaller display (3.0 inches instead of 3.2 inches), according to an earlier story from Dialaphone. A 3.2-megapixel camera takes the place of the five megapixel version, and the amount of storage provided is said to be much smaller, but a microSD slot is still available for up to 32GB of flash expansion, says the story.

Other features appear to be similar, with HSDPA,WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and accelerometers. The phone is said to run Samsung's Touchwiz UI atop Android 1.5.

Although it was a quickie first look at a prototype phone, Dialaphone's reviewer seemed less than overwhelmed, but such is the fate of the scaled-down versions of smartphones that are popping up these days. These include the HTC Tattoo, a cheaper version of the HTC Hero.

Sprint ships the Hero

Speaking of the Hero, Sprint has begun shipping the HTC-branded phone, as it promised it would do in early September, according to another eWEEK story by Michelle Maisto. Sprint now joins T-Mobile as the only U.S. carriers currently offering Android phones. The Hero, which offers HTC's Sense UI on top of Android, is priced at approximately $180, after a $100 mail-in rebate and "eligible upgrade" (or new-line activation), says the story. Other requirements are a Business Advantage message and data plan or Everything plan with data, and a two-year-agreement.

Is Verizon prepping a MiFi Android phone?

The Hero has been mentioned as a candidate for one of the two Android phones that Verizon Wireless says it will offer by year's end. (According to PhoneArena, Verizon will instead choose a Hero-like phone called the HTC Desire, which will join the previously suspected Motorola "Sholes" phone.)

Now, Unstrung claims Verizon will offer a third Android model in early 2010. The phone will offer the technology that's built into Novatel Wireless' Linux-based MiFi WiFi hotspot (pictured at left), offering 3G tethering of bandwidth to WiFi users, says the site.

Manufactured by a "small, specialist player," the phone will be the first Android phone to be certified through Verizon's Open Development program, says Unstrung. Aimed at quickly bringing new devices onto the Verizon Wireless CDMA network, the new program is said to require vendors to conform to a set of standard features, including phone location capabilities that meet the E911 emergency standard. Other requirements are said to include over-the-air activation capabilities and support for SMS text messaging.

INQ and Spotify team up on Android phone

According to TechCrunch, Swedish telecommunication service provider Telia will soon release a Spotify-branded mobile phone built by U.K.-based manufacturer INQ. Currently, the Spotify music application runs on the iPhone, Android, and Symbian S60.

Spotify's streaming services are said to account for about 35 percent of the digital music sales in Sweden. TechCrunch ran a photo of the currently non-Android INQ Mini 3G phone (pictured above, at right), suggesting that the Android model may be based on it.


The eWEEK story on Michael Dell's comments regarding its Android phone may be found here.

The Dialaphone story on the Samsung Galaxy Lite i5700 should be here.

eWEEK's story on Sprint's launch of the HTC Hero may be found here.

The PhoneArena story speculating on Verizon's interest in an HTC Desire phone should be here.

The Unstrung story on Verizon's upcoming MiFi-enabled Android phone should be here.

The TechCrunch story on the Spotify phone for Telia, built by INQ, should be here.

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