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50+ Android Phones Expected In Near Future 378

Posted by timothy
from the quite-the-ecosystem dept.
wiseandroid writes "It's not even a year ago that the HTC Dream G1 became the first Android enabled phone to be released publicly (on October 22nd, 2008) and now we have listed more than 50 Android phones expected in the near future." Of the 51 phones on this list, 12 (from nine manufacturers) are currently available.
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50+ Android Phones Expected In Near Future

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  • by thefirelane (586885) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:04AM (#29807387)
    Seriously. Why do Android phones seem to ignore the camera? I'd really like to see one with a very good camera, something like an Android version of the N86 [nokia.com]
    • by WhiteSpade (959060) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:10AM (#29807489)
      The newly released (in the US) HTC Hero has a 5 megapixel camera (http://www.htc.com/www/product/hero/specification.html). I just got the Hero and it takes surprisingly good pictures in low light too. The screen lags quite a bit behind what the camera is seeing, but I'm told that Android 1.6 is supposed to fix that (whenever HTC gets around to releasing the update). ---Alex
      • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:15AM (#29807557) Homepage
        I'm running the official version of 1.6 (HTC Dream Developer's edition phone), and I must say WOW. SOOO much smoother and more responsive. The new camera interface is eih, but the display is much better with it (A lot faster and smoother)...
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by cerberusss (660701)

        That's pretty interesting, because I find the current integrated cameras sorely lacking even for simple pics. I have a 3G iPhone and recently, I snapped a couple of pictures of my girlfriend's Master's thesis defense. I let them print on standard 10x13 cm (4x5.1in) paper by a photo printing service and boy -- what a disappointment. They looked blocky with lots of artefacts. Anyone who defends the iPhone camera should really send a couple of his pics to a photo printing service and be appalled by the result.

        • i agree. honestly, and this isn't a troll, i think that the iPhone 3G camera is pretty horrible. didn't the 3GS introduce autofocus to the iPhone? maybe that one will be better because of that. i have an older LG that has autofocus and the shots (when set to max resolution of 1600x1200) are pretty good for a lens the size of a pinhead. they look good printed about 4x6 and okay on a screen up to about 1024x768. a smartphone should have results at least that good, since my phone was $80 when new and abou
        • by LordVader717 (888547) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:49AM (#29808075)

          Photographing documents is always terrible with phones because they have no variable focus. So they use a pinhole camera for infinite focus, but it fails at less than about 3 meters.
          I always thought that a camera specifically for scanning documents would be great on a phone. They could have two cameras, one with infinite focus and one for photographing documents up-close.
          You could attach an apropriate lens in front and get the same result I guess.

          • by MBCook (132727)

            The 3G is fixed focus, and not great for stuff close to the lens. The 3GS is variable focus, and the reviews I saw (I'm a 3G owner), it's camera is head and shoulders better than the 3G.

            The 3G camera is OK. With lots of light, it takes some pretty good pictures, especially color wise. But with lower light levels (such as room lighting, often) or things closer than 2 feet or so... it's just a cell phone camera.

            The 3G takes better pictures that most camera phones, about the same as or slightly better than m

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by theJML (911853)

              There is a case for the 3G that has a sliding lens for just this thing. and it work's GREAT (I've got it on my 3G). It was about the same price as all the other hard cases and it protects the camera's lens when you've got it slid over it.

              You can hold the camera about 3" from what you're looking at and it'll take a crisp pic with readable text.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Just hold the lens from a pair of reading glasses in front of it. Geezer eyes don't focus either.

          • by macshit (157376) <miles AT gnu DOT org> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:31AM (#29808817) Homepage
            A thesis "defense" is an event where one defends one's thesis, not the document itself.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by yincrash (854885)
            g1 has autofocus and takes pictures of documents reasonably well. here's one [mikeyin.org] i just took.
    • by japhering (564929) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:19AM (#29807611)

      As someone who frequently has to be in secured areas.. I hope at least some of the models never, ever have a camera, as is it a pain to either have to lock my phone in the car or to hand it over to some $10 an hour security guard prior to entry or have it confiscated by the same guard on the way out if I forget to hand it to him on the way in.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        My site eventually changed policy to allow employees to carry cameraphones if they took appropriate training, which was basically, "Don't use the camera on site."

        There are areas we can't even bring cameraphones, but we're not even allowed to bring non-camera phones into those areas.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) *

        Sounds like security theater to me. Cameras are small. Unless they're doing strip searches, it would be relatively easy for an attacker to smuggle a camera in.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SSCGWLB (956147)
      The Motorola Droid (not out yet I think) is supposed to have a 5 megapixel camera, auto focus and flash. I have not heard much about the picture quality. On the up side: the camera GUI, auto focus, and responsiveness have significantly improved on my G1 with every update. In good light on a mostly still subject the G1 takes acceptable pictures.
    • by KlaymenDK (713149)

      The camera in my Galaxy is actually surprisingly good. However (and unsurprisingly), it doesn't have red-eye reduction and such photography modes.

    • by dingen (958134) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:47AM (#29808045)
      There is no such thing as a decent camera on a phone. Seriously, I'm not trolling. It doesn't matter if it offers more megapixels, auto white balance or a Zeiss lens. Compared to any decent camera out there, pictures from a phone will always look like crap. I rather have fewer megapixels, so at least the crap consumes less disk space.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:14AM (#29809653)

        The best camera is the one you have with you.

        There are many, many photographs out there that don't rely on specialized optics or super-nice sensor specs for their artistic value. Often, the value in a photograph is just managing to capture a moment in a way that communicates the meaning of the experience. There's nothing about this that precludes using a cell-phone camera to take the picture.

        Look at it this way: our expectations for good photographs haven't changed much in the past 20 years. Sure, new things have become possible that we hadn't seen back then, but ultimately the human eye sees the same as it always has, and Ansel Adams or Cartier-Bresson are still legends for the work they did even though they didn't have a tenth of the technical sophistication we now enjoy. So, even though standards have stayed more or less the same, the capabilities of even our worst cameras have increased by orders of magnitude. At some point, even a cell-phone camera is good enough to do what needs to be done, and any more technical improvement is just for dick-waving and specialized cases.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by swillden (191260)

          So, even though standards have stayed more or less the same, the capabilities of even our worst cameras have increased by orders of magnitude. At some point, even a cell-phone camera is good enough to do what needs to be done, and any more technical improvement is just for dick-waving and specialized cases.

          The fundamental problem with cell phone cameras is size. You just need bigger lenses to get good image quality. Ansel Adams may have used cameras that were technically far less sophisticated, but he had cameras that were much LARGER. In optics, size matters.

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:00AM (#29808245)

      You're barking up the wrong tree if you want a "very good camera" in a mobile phone, it just can't be done, the optics aren't good enough.

      For reference though, an 8MB camera in a phone is likely to be *worse* than a 5MP one, which in turn will be worse than a 3MP one (which is about the optimum).

      More pixels in such a small area == less light falling on the pixels == higher sensitivity pixels == worse signal to noise ratio.

      The result of that is that phones with high resolution cameras have to apply a noise reduction filter, which is essentially just a blur, and none of these cameras can manage a sharp focus.

    • by Hellasboy (120979)

      Sony Ericsson's upcoming X3 is running Android and has an 8 megapixel camera. And it being SE, I'm sure the camera will be quite good (maybe not as good as the N86 - f 2.4 is really nice for a 'phone'). biggest issue so far is when is video recording going to improve on Android? (I think it's 320x240)

  • Just 50? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:07AM (#29807447) Homepage Journal
    Will take time till Android matches the market share of IPhone that way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      With 50+ they almost reached the number of Mac users :-P

    • Really? There's only been six iPhones ever (counting iPod Touch), and only four are still available.

    • We will have to see... Apple could repeat old history and make the first popular mainstream smartphone (like they did with the Apple II) Get good market share then have a competitor with a more open solution take over the market. Or what could happen is all the carriers who wants to make sure they don't blow it like IBM did. Will keep Android Locked down and each version incompatible with each other, so in essence keeping a bunch of branches of Android which won't work seamlessly. Allowing Apple to keep

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Xtifr (1323)

      Yes, and nothing says quality like market share. That's why Windows is widely acknowledged (especially around here) to be the best OS ever, and McDonald's to be the greatest cuisine of all time. :)

  • by the_crowbar (149535) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:08AM (#29807459)

    I have had a BB Storm for a few months I like a few features and loathe a few others.

    Likes:
    - Easy web page viewing most anywhere
    - BB Messenger is good and beats SMS/MMS anyday (plus its cost is included in my plan unlike SMS)

    Hates:
    - Speed of the device (it feels slower now than when I first got the device and can take a few seconds now to come from locked screen to usable mode)
    - Battery life ( I don't know how any of the Androids stack up here)

    I have briefly used a G1 and I thought it was a nice device. The touchscreen keyboard on the Storm is ok, but when typing quickly it lags several keys behind. I did not experience that on the G1, plus with a physical keyboard you can type without looking at the phone.

    Cheers,
    the_crowbar

    • by KlaymenDK (713149) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:30AM (#29807803) Journal

      Regarding speed, you will find Android on the slow side as well, especially if you let your SMS app become bogged down with hundreds of old messages (to show previous chat log), and when your calendar and phone book get lots of entries. I'm not saying it takes *several* seconds, but it's a damn cry from being instantaneous.

      Regarding battery life, expect one full working day, or two whole days TOPS, from *any* modern device.

      If you want fortnight-long battery life, grab a Psion Series5 MX Pro and have it refurbished (yes, I'm being serious). If you want instant application starts, grab either that or a Palm Treo and have that refurbished. For *phone* capability, forget the Psion, that's "just" a pda (in quotes because it's a damn proper one).

      Do NOT expect an Android device to be a pda. It's a smartphone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SCHecklerX (229973)

      Just got a palm pre myself. While being on sprint sucks, the phone is amazing. Very open with an active homebrew community. Easy to 'root' (even from linux ... I don't even own a windows computer). Changing the phone's behavior is usually just a matter of editing some javascript and CSS (most of the things you'd like to do there is already a patch for, and you don't need to fully install optware just to install the patches). This is all done in a familiar linux environment.

      I was on the fence about gett

  • there is not enough information released as of yet, but i really hope for a greater diversity of features and hardware. i really want a better (sturdier) piece of hardware than the G1 that has a keyboard and an SD slot. (or 2!)

    i googled the ones on the list that were bold (which apparently indicates they are currently for sale) and i didn't see any that had a keyboard. they all appeared superficially similar in design: touchscreen iphone lookalikes. that is really too bad, i like keyboards.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swimin (828756)

      Take a look at the upcoming motorola droid coming to verizon. Probably hitting stores on Nov 6th, Possibly online/telephone sales the end of this month. It has a slideout qwerty keyboard, 3.7inch capacitive touchscreen, 5MP camera, and will be the first Android 2.0 phone. It's also only .5in thick.

      Reportedly It's made of metal and has a very sturdy feel to it.

    • There are supposedly 50 Android phones in the works. I'm sure some will have keyboards. The Motorola Calgary has a keyboard for instance.

    • by IBBoard (1128019) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:33AM (#29807855) Homepage

      that is really too bad, i like keyboards.

      [Marketing-exec]No, I'm sure you're just confused. Yes, you're familiar with keyboards. Yes, the tactile feedback can be exceedingly useful. Yes, it means you're not hiding what you're about to click on. Yes, it means your screen doesn't get greasy. But what you really want is a touch-screen. It's what we're designing our phones with, because "customers" want it, and you're a customer so you must want it.[/Marketing-exec]

      • nicely played, but i think i want a Pre with a horizontal layout that i can dual-boot to android. but maybe that's just me :)
        • by IBBoard (1128019)

          I want a phone that does phone calls and texts, but these days your options are limited if you don't want to pay for the camera :D

          Things like Android and the Palm Pre look interesting, but a) I don't miss most of the features and wouldn't use them much after the first month and b) I don't have the money to spare (£10 of top-up credit lasts me 3-6 months! Land-lines and company phones are much cheaper ;) )

  • I was just reading the press release for Alex [springdesign.com] from Spring Design. This is still vapor ware, but if they don't make it to market someone else will. It is a dual screen e-reader running Android. If I were going to be rolling out any device that was going to sport the kind of connectivity that people are coming to suspect, Android would have to be in the running as a free, open platform. So I think along with a lot of new Android phones, we will be seeing a lot of Android devices in general.

    The Eco

  • by TwistedGreen (80055) <twistedgreen AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:16AM (#29807565)
    This is one of the biggest ways that Android and the iPhone differ. With the iPhone, you have one phone, and one OS. With Android, you have one OS but many different phones. While the iPhone already has a huge number of apps available for their one device, not everyone wants a big touchscreen for a phone. Appealing to a broader audience by letting people choose their phone with a broad range of prices and features could be the most effective way for Android to compete. Smartphones are still only used by a small percentage all mobile phone users--it's still a growing market. It seems that Google is using this opportunity to make smart phones more accessible and more affordable. I think this is a far more sustainable strategy than Apple's one phone philosophy.
    • Exactly.

      Some people want real keyboards. Some people want expensive phones with the best possible features and tons of storage. Some people want cheap phones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dingen (958134)

      Or, more choice means it's more difficult to develop for the platform, leading to fewer apps and a less interesting platform for both developers and consumers. This is already a big problem with Symbian and Windows Mobile.

      I read a reply from a Symbian user a week ago in which he stated that the most interesting app he had purchased for this phone was a better clock. This is a perfect display of the sad state of affairs the platform is in.

      It would be a shame if Android would suffer the same fate.

      • by brunes69 (86786)

        Right. Just like more choices among PC hardware has led to it having the smallest number of available applications, and the Mac platform, with it's more defined hardware base, has more.

        Oh wait!

        The apps come to the platform. The platform with the most users is going to have the most apps written for it.

    • by sribe (304414)

      Appealing to a broader audience by letting people choose their phone with a broad range of prices and features could be the most effective way for Android to compete...

      A dozen phones would be healthy competition to appeal to a broad audience; 50+ phones is confusion that will drive consumers away.

    • by cabjf (710106)
      I think the only real rub comes with the apps. For all those different models with different screen sizes and different input options, a developer will have more work just making sure his or her app works for the wide variety of phones. And if it was the app store that really catapulted the iPhone to greatness, it's not an issue to take lightly while trying to expand the market.
    • This is exactly how Apple lost the PC war

      Apple had one computer with one operating system (the mac) vs one operating system (MS-DOS and later Windows) running on hundreds of different clones.

      Eventually, the clones competed fiercely on price and features and ate away most of the market share. This happens even as apple had an arguably better product.

      • by sootman (158191)

        This is exactly how Apple lost the PC war

        Well, they didn't do as well as MS--nobody did--and while they don't have that high of a market share, they're ridiculously profitable. [daringfireball.net] Compared to Dell, Compaq, HP, Gateway, and everyone else who was involved in or "won" the race to the bottom, they've done quite well. Not everyone who "loses" is a loser and not everyone who wins is a winner. [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by iamhigh (1252742)
          So throw out the winner, then number two looks great! Not to mention Dell, HP, etc. don't write the software, they only sell it with their hardware (sorta). You can't compare the profitability of Apple, with the iPhone, iPod, computer hardware, and the whole software stack as their own to make money off of to a hardware/resale company like dell (might as well compare to cdw). You could compare it to Dell+MS. Apple "lost" the "PC war", but they have found many other ways to make money. So has TI, Xerox,
      • by alen (225700)

        Except when you compare the iphone to other cell phones it's priced in the middle of the pack, not more expensive than everyone else. Most of the price of a cell phone is in the monthly bill. iphone prices range from $50 for a 3G refurb to $299 for a 32GB 3GS which is in line with other cell phones. An iphone will run you $70 a month for the basic plan. Sprint's cheapest plan is $60 and I priced VZW at $85 a month for a cheap plan.

        and unlike the Mac of the 1980's the iphone has the most developer support an

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dingen (958134)

        This is exactly how Apple lost the PC war

        Every time you touch a mouse to move the cursor on your color graphics screen and click on a window, menu or icon, you are using a computer the way Steve Jobs wants you to. Think about that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tomzyk (158497)

      While I agree, I think the big drawback with having different hardware comes from a programming/user-interface standpoint: how do you develop applications that will run on ALL of these phones when the screen real-estate can be so varied?

      Anyone that has done a lot of HTML design knows about the headaches this can cause.

      ie. You want to make your site look pretty for someone who runs their OS in 800x600 as well as someone who runs at 1280x1024. While you COULD just develop it for the more popular [higher] reso

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by schon (31600)

        how do you develop applications that will run on ALL of these phones when the screen real-estate can be so varied?

        The same way you develop PC software that has to run on ALL computers when the screen real-estate is so varied.

        Anyone that has done a lot of HTML design knows about the headaches this can cause.

        Actually, anyone that doesn't understand HTML believes the headaches it can cause. If you understand HTML, it's not an issue.

      • by Zebedeu (739988) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:45AM (#29809063)

        The new Android SDK attempts to solve this problem by allowing developers to specify screen size profiles. Check out the blog post [blogspot.com].

    • by tzhuge (1031302)

      That's great for some people, but personally I find the amount of options overwhelming. Same thing with computers as well. Once upon a time I would've researched parts and looked at spec sheets and read reviews to figure out exactly what to get. However, it seems like I would inevitably be slightly disappointed in the end. I think I enjoyed the process of the 'shopping' more than the final product and in the end it is the final product I have to live with. Choice is good for consumers, but I suspect there a

    • by sootman (158191)

      Sometimes having a million choices helps, [wikipedia.org] sometimes it doesn't. [afterdawn.com] It'll be interesting to see which way this goes. I have my suspicions... ;-)

  • On a related note... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by keatonguy (1001680) <keaton.prowerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:17AM (#29807579)

    ...I saw the Android TV ad last night. I think it's the only time seeing an advertisement for something has make me verbally cheer.

    It lampooned the Apple ad format, complete with the black text on white and indie music listing off stuff the iPhone can't do, then making a sharp cut to an android logo with a URL.

    I really hope to see more well-coordinated advertising like this for OSS! This is the first, maybe the second time in my memory that any OSS has had any kind of TV spot, and this one was really solid.

    • I first saw it on youtube - linked from an article at Ars I think. I thought it was pretty awesome. Then this week-end I'm watching football and see it come on national t.v. I was surprised, I didn't know they'd be pushing it with the kind of money that took. I enjoyed it too and thought it was pretty awesome. The rest of my family was less impressed.

  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:21AM (#29807643) Homepage Journal

    I mean, I'm all for choice, but why so many? Why, in particular, are a few manufacturers in particular releasing so many models? Half of the phones (25 out of 51) come from just three companies--HTC (9), Motorola (9), and Samsung (7). I can see why a manufacturer would want some variety in general--slider, bar, flip; big with good battery life or small and thin and light--but aren't all Android phones big, touchscreen smartphones? I don't want to start googling every name (hasn't wiseandroid.com ever heard of links [w3.org]?) so can anyone clue me in on the differences?

    I like Apple's stuff and you might call me a "fanboi" but you have to admit they've made some good decisions in the past decade, especially with regard to simplifying their product lines. The stereotypical Slashdotter hates having their choices limited but everyone in sales, marketing, and product development should know about the disadvantages to offering too many options. [google.com] Make one phone with as many or as few features as you care to cram into it and the choice becomes a simple one--take it or leave it. Start offering them with minor differences--this one has WiFi but no GPS, this one has GPS but no WiFi, etc.--and people will start to say "screw it, what else is there?" Plus every time you offer more models you're increasing the cost of your R&D but with less and less improvement in sales.

    If anything, we should see more Android devices--Android technology without the phone, like the iPod touch. Clearly there's a market there, and you get around the whole pesky "tied to the carrier you hate" issue.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:52AM (#29808131)

      You don't understand what is happening at all.

      Right now there are 100's of phones on the market, all running some sort of OS. Each of them appeal to different audiences, with different features, reliability, and carrier compatability.

      Essentially, some of those 100's of current models are being replaced with models running Android. Android is an operating system, it does not define the device it runs upon. Just like I can run Linux using just a tty interface over a serial link, or I can run it with a 3d desktop across multiple screens; Android can be similarly used for different phones.

      The advantages of Android over existing phone OS's are threefold:
      1. cost... there is no cost to the manufacturer of the phone or the carrier.
      2. compatibility... applications for Android will be compatable with other manufacturers Android handsets, so different manufacturers will compete on quality of their product rather than the amount of software available.
      3. features... Android was developed to be very feature rich, of course manufacturers can disable features but if they want them it is trivial to enable them. If the public begins to demand additional features as ideas change, then Android can be upgraded to include those features.

      Essentially, there were no phone OS's that manufacturers could even purchase that would result in a product so refined that it could compete with Apple and Blackberry, and neither of them were licensing their code. Android changes that.

  • To me, this is why an Android phone will never take the #1 sales slot. Android, as a platform may quickly rise in dominance, but the competition, just amongst Android phones, will prevent an individual phone from taking a dominant position. When there's 51 possible choices for someone who's interested in an Android phone, it will result in diluted sales for all 51 phones. That's not to say that some of the better phones won't enjoy strong sales - I'm sure several will - but it is to say that I don't believe
    • by KlaymenDK (713149)

      So what? If we'd all rush to buy electric cars, would it matter that we wouldn't *all* be rushing for the EV-1? Wouldn't it, in fact, be better if we had dozens or more options to choose from -- any electrical vehicle is going to "promote the cause", as it were.

    • Re:Top Spot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:29AM (#29808763)

      No, Android will never have #1, because it free.

      I know what your trying to say, but I have to disagree. I fully expect to see an Android phone take #1 in the future. Why? Because once these 50+ phones are out, and the 100's that follow, there will be far more users of Android phones than phones running the Mac or RIM OS.

      At some point, the public will consider Android phones to be equal to the iPhone in features and capability, but they will have choice (Querty keyboard, carrier, camera, form factor, size, screen, cost, etc.). To many people that freedom, coupled with the features and usability they want, is more than enough to keep them away from iPhone.

      For Android to compete with RIM, it needs to get serious about business. The good news is, that because Android is open source, and most contributors have real jobs, its capabilities in business will quickly surpass the Blackberry. Honestly, I have been with several companies that standardized on Blackberry, and other than mail and policy managment, the phone is a waste. If Android 2.0 gets the mail part right, RIM should be worried. If they introduce a policy management server... then RIM is in trouble.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      Android, as a platform may quickly rise in dominance, but the competition, just amongst Android phones, will prevent an individual phone from taking a dominant position

      Yep. Android phones will eventually outsell iPhones as the iPhone hardware is shown as stagnant. Why do/did IBM PC clones outsell Apple PCs? Diversity and openness.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordVader717 (888547)

      So what? The best selling PC model is surely a Mac, and probably was ever since the likes the commodore. Did that save them from near-extinction, neglect and abandonment in the 90s?

  • The main thing the iPhone's got going for it in my view is the enormous amount of application available for the platform. Android has the same potential with a nice centralized distribution channel, while allowing more open development. It would seem to make sense that this will result in many more Android apps in the future, but I wonder if the huge amount of different phones will be of any help at this or maybe in fact create a barrier for developers.

    It seems to me that one of the reasons there aren't as

    • by KlaymenDK (713149)

      Yes, it will be 'harder' to code for a *class* of devices rather than targeting a single model, but not necessarily harder than you choose to make it yourself.

      If you want to code a game for the PS3, you know *exactly* what the hardware is -- but it'll be limited to that, and X-Box owners can't play along unless you port your game.

      If you make a website, by simply sticking to the standard, you can support *any* browser out there.

      Similarly, in Android, the OS framework is going to give you a lot of assistance,

  • Carriers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:24AM (#29807709) Homepage Journal

    Wired had a great article on this a year ago or so. Every carrier was afraid of touching Android. They said if they used a common OS between phones, they were afraid they would become dumb carriers, and it would remove the potential to advertise each network provider having unique phones.

    In reality, today providers PAY to put Blackberry OS, Web OS, the iPhone OS, and Windows Mobile on their phones. They can't customize the OS. So buying a Blackberry on Verizon is no different from buying a Blackberry on AT&T. Google offers up Android for free, and tells networks that they can even customize the software so AT&T's build of Android is unique, and they reject Android. It makes zero sense.

    I desperately wanted and Android phone. I contacted customer support for several providers telling them they could have my business if they put out an Android phone. (T-Mobile basically has no coverage in Omaha, so they weren't an option). I waited an year. No Android phones came out.

    So instead, I bought an iPhone. I'm not terribly happy that I have an iPhone as opposed to an Android phone. I'm not terribly happy I ended up with AT&T. But honestly, it seems like providers really didn't want my business. For all their supposed desire to find an iPhone-killer, they're ignoring the FREE iPhone-killer right infront of them.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      AT&T has the least incentive of any USA carrier to offer an iPhone-killer...

  • The question: Is Android trying to dethrone Symbian or Apple?

    If the goal is Symbian, this is a good thing: An OS thats customed by the handset deliverer with development being secondary, because the platform ends up grossly fragmented (different screens, capabilities, processing power, UI presentation, storage, etc...)

    If the goal is Apple, this is a horrid thing: Apple's huge lock is the ecosystem, with all the developers. Which would you rather develop for, a platform which has everything being the same

    • by metamatic (202216)

      Which would you rather develop for, a platform which has everything being the same capability, or one with a grossly fragmented market where screens, UI conventions, etc are all different?

      That's why nobody develops for Windows, right?

  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:44AM (#29807979)

    A decent processor!

    I think the current available phones have a 520mhz processor. The Android software seems to run at an accetptable speed (since the os was updated to 1.5?) but I imagine any apps would be limited by the speed of the processor.
    I know this will change with newer phones - Acer are develping an android phone with 1ghz processor.

    A camera flash!

    I do not understand why many of the phones contain a 3 or 5 megapixel camera but no flash! Maybe it is related to cost/component size but come on! - this was acceptable with older phones but today I would like to think it is essential.

    A physical keyboard!

    I know this will add bulk to the phone but considering what android's potential can be (with the right hardware) this will make the phone much more versatile. What about a detachable keyboard?

    More memory?
    The os runs in a java-like virtual machine. If it has any relation to Java does this mean it will exhibit memory consumption similar to Java? I also understand there is an API to bypass the vm and use native code.

    As it stands I will be ordering the Nokia N900 at the end of October and cannot wait for the hardware to improve. Despite the hype I think the N900 will eventualy become a "niche" product.

    On the other hand, the development of Android phones is great and appears it will dominate the mobile phone market. Hopefully it will drive competition and lead to the reduction of iphone obsession.

    Speaking of iphones does the Android phones have a "Big Red Kill" switch too?

    • by Monoman (8745)

      Is the rumored soon to be released Verizon Droid good enough?
      http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/10/19/motorola-droid-hands-on/ [boygeniusreport.com]

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      A strobe requires:
      1) Pulsed energy storage (big photo-grade electrolytic capacitor)
      2) Lots of energy per pulse (eats battery - look at how much battery life of cameras drops when the flash is used)

      It's basically impossible to put a strobe into a phone without making it unacceptably large or brutally killing battery life, especially with the general trend in phone design - Thinner/smaller.

      As to physical keyboard - there are lots of QWERTY slider phones out there. In fact the original G1 was just such a ph

  • by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringo.hotmail@com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:13AM (#29808461)
    I have the HTC Dream, and the biggest problem with it is that the battery life is so bad, there is no way I could use it for my main phone. Even with light usage and bluetooth and wifi turned off, the thing is dead in 6 hours or less. If I turn on and use wifi, it gets a lot less. Maybe 2 hours or 3.

    It a nearly 500€ phone and it can't make it through a whole day without recharging. The camera isn't great either, but that isn't a big deal. The battery problem is a HUGE deal. However at a recent conference, I saw that the iPhone users had the same problem with battery life.
    • by dingen (958134)
      An iPhone will last easily for a day. I don't even recharge mine daily when I haven't used it a lot. Watching streaming video over 3G eats a lot of battery power as do a lot of games, but other than that, the battery life is fine.
    • Really?? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anyd (625939)
      My G1 lasts for like 3 days idling... I keep GPS/Wifi/Bluetooth turned off unless I need them, but toggling them is easy with the new update (add widget > power control.) GPS sucks up the battery really fast though, are you keeping that off as well?

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