Google Phone Plan Hits Delays

By Reuters  |  Posted 06-23-2008 Print Email
Development, carrier issues trouble the release of the much-hyped gadgets.

New mobile phones being developed by Google and more than 30 partners based on software called Android will arrive in the fourth quarter, a schedule that some cellular carriers and program makers are struggling to meet, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Google had said in November that the phones would come out by the second half of 2008, the Journal reported.

Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA expects to deliver an Android-powered phone in the fourth period, but Sprint Nextel will not be able to, a person familiar with the matter said, according to the Journal.

China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier with nearly 400 million subscriber accounts, likely will have its launch delayed until late this year or early 2009, the Journal reported, citing sources.

Android also has not won broad support from large mobile-software developers, and some said it is hard to develop programs while Google makes changes as it finishes its own software, the Journal reported.

Managing the software development while giving its partners the opportunity to lobby for new features takes time, the Journal quoted Google's director of mobile platforms, Andy Rubin, as saying. He also told the Journal: "This is where the pain happens... We are very, very close."

Google was not immediately available for comment.

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