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FCC blesses Android phone

Aug 18, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a phone from HTC that could be the first phone to ship with the Linux-based Google Android stack. The 5 x 3-inch HTC Dream sports a slide-or-swivel QWERTY keypad, touchscreen with haptic feedback, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

The Dream is HTC's first Linux-based phone, and if plans to ship it this Fall hold up, it may well be the first Android-based model as well. The Taiwanese manufacturer makes a Windows Mobile 6.1-based Touch Diamond phone, but aside from its similarly ample dimensions, the Dream appears to be an entirely new design. In addition to the basic description posted on HTC's teaser site , the FCC documents list the following new information about the phone:

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1900Mhz
  • WCDMA Band 4
  • 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.7 V Li-ion battery
  • Jog ball

HTC Dream illustration submitted to FCC
(Source: Federal Communications Commission. (Click to enlarge)

Documents on the FCC site, which refer to the phone as the DREA100, also list a basic illustration (see above), as well as approvals for operation of all the wireless devices used on the phone, including cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth. One document references confidentiality agreements, apparently honored by the FCC, which hides attachments for a schematic, block diagram, theory of operation, BOM, manual, and photos.

In June, a Wall Street Journal article quoted a Google exec as confirming that the expected arrival of the first phones to run the Google Android stack had slipped from the third quarter to the fourth, with most models not due until 2009. Reasons for the delays reportedly included language glitches, last-minute changes from Google, and issues over carrier branding. However, the official Google response was that the phones were on schedule. Meanwhile, rumors have popped up lately that the HTC Dream might ship as early as September or October. The confirmation of FCC approval suggests the company may well meet that deadline.

Previous to the WSJ story, Android seemed to be making solid, if unremarkable progress. Google and the Open Handset Alliance, which oversees the mobile spec, announced 50 winners out of an impressive 1,788 submissions for the first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge. Google then showed off a prototype of an Android phone that boasted gesture- and touchscreen-based password entry, as well as a “compass” feature that adjusts Google Maps' Street View according to the user's orientation.

Meanwhile, Linux mobile spec competitor, the LiMo Foundation, has showed steady progress with its LiMo Platform. The group recently announced seven new shipping mobile handsets from Motorola, NEC, and Panasonic, as well as 11 new members, including Telecom Italia, Freescale, VirtualLogix, Movial, and PacketVideo.


The HTC Dream is scheduled for a Fall 2008 release, according to HTC. The HTC Dream site can be found here, and the list of FCC documents may be found here

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