Report: Google faces Android handset delays
Handsets may not be ready till Q4; software changes hold up developers' building apps
IDG News Service - TAIPEI -- Mobile phones designed around Google Inc.'s Android software may not be available until the fourth quarter of this year, and some companies are struggling to even meet that deadline, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified sources.
When Google and 30 partners announced Android last November, the Internet search company said new phones would be on the market by the second half of this year.
But the Journal reported that some mobile network operators, such as Sprint Nextel Corp., have abandoned the idea of launching an Android-based handset this year because of delays. Other operators, such as China Mobile Ltd., have delayed their planned rollout of Android-based handsets to later this year or early next year, the Journal said Sunday.
The handsets aren't the only problem. Software developers are also grumbling about Android, the Journal said. Google continues to make changes to the software, making it difficult for other software developers to create programs that work with Android.
Wireless carriers have found customizing Android to promote their Internet services a problem, and some handset makers are taking longer than expected to integrate the software, test it and build custom user interfaces to meet the specifications of mobile phone carriers, the Journal said.
Taiwan's HTC Corp. is one company that has already said it is developing an Android-based handset. The company said it expects the mobile phone to be out in the fourth quarter.
Samsung Electronics is also reportedly working on an Android handset.
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