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18 Android Phones, In 3 Flavors, By Year's End

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the age-of-the-android dept.

Cellphones 152

Hugh Pickens writes "Andy Rubin, senior director for Mobile Platforms for Google, has announced that by the end of the year there will be 18 to 20 phones using the Android OS made by 8 or 9 different manufacturers. Google will offer three different versions of Android OS: a completely free and generic flavor with no pre-loaded Google applications; a slightly customized version that comes pre-loaded with Google apps like Gmail and Google Calendar; and a completely 'Google-fied' Android OS bearing all sorts of Google branding and integration with Google's services. Will Park reports that the expectation is that 12 to 14 of the upcoming Android phones will use the slightly-customized version of Google's Android OS requiring the manufacturer to agree to a distribution deal with Google that would allow the handsets to come pre-installed with Google-ware. The remaining 5 or 6 Android phones will come to market completely decked out with 'The Google Experience' and a Google logo on the phone. This third option provides risk and reward opportunities because the openness of the store could be a hit with consumers, but could also lead to poorly constructed or offensive applications that could give Google a taint. When it comes to apps, Rubin says: 'We want to abide by the law, but not rule with an open fist.'" Yes, it seems he really said "open fist," though he probably meant "iron fist."

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152 comments

expectationi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138089)

I don't have much expectationi for this.

kdawson, what does expectationi mean?

Re:expectationi (3, Funny)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138475)

It's obviously Italian, idiota!

dreamphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138135)

of posting to slashdot?

A Suggestion (5, Informative)

Bangmaker (1420175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138223)

Personally I think google can either epically win or fail with this move. One thing I see as very important is making sure not all of the phones are smartphones. The article suggests that several service providers will be in on the deal (already a step above apple in my opinion), however, if every phone delivered is a smartphone, much of the market will be lost. Not everyone can afford the expenses of internet and email that come with a smartphone. I would get the phone simply because it was running Andriod even if it weren't a smartphone.

Re:A Suggestion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138623)

Haw, don't kid yourself. All of Google's talk about people doing whatever they want with Android was just shuckin' and jivin'. Did anybodyactually believe that ATT or Verizon would allow them to use putty or VoIP applications?

Dream on. Android is the Obama of mobile operating systems. Enjoy your kool-aid, kids!

Re:A Suggestion (3, Informative)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138733)

I can putty with mine fine. Not felt the need to use VoIP yet, I'm struggling to get through the contract-bundled minutes at the minute. Aside from T-Mobile arbitrarily sticking a net-nanny on it, and then revoking it after a brief phone call, I've not found any restrictions on the connectivity yet.

Re:A Suggestion (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138737)

Did anybodyactually believe that ATT or Verizon would allow them to use putty or VoIP applications?

The world's a bit bigger than just the USA. Plenty of us have phones that can do VOIP already.

Re:A Suggestion (2, Informative)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138949)

..and putty [sourceforge.net] .

Re:A Suggestion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138897)

What's this? A shit-scared apple zealot?

Re:A Suggestion (2, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139067)

Can't be, he made a negative comment about Obama. I don't know of any Apple freaks that speak ill of Obama.

Um, Rush Limbaugh? (1)

drewness (85694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140215)

Can't be, he made a negative comment about Obama. I don't know of any Apple freaks that speak ill of Obama.

Rush Limbaugh has been a long time Apple user and he pretty much does nothing but badmouth Obama and the Democrats.

Re:A Suggestion (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139147)

I am the person who wrote the post to which you are responding. This post is -1 redundant for common sense and does not apply to mobile developers or non-Americans.

The short answer is - for a 2-year contract anybody here can get a free phone which does everything they need it to and much more. I'll be damned if I pay hundreds of dollars for overhyped and crippled pieces of shit. If I wanted to program for its own sake then I'd stick to the desktop where there exist scores of platforms and resources without the limitations of mobile and possibly having to learn that faggy objective-C.

Wooooo, I could write yet another contact manager or map application for platforms which already have tons of 'em. Wooooo, my phone is bigger and better than yours because my penis is small. Wooooo, I'm such a stimulation-hungry dweeb that I post Slashdot from my phone but can't wait to get home and do it on my real computer.

As for your Apple comment, how dare you insult me. I am a heterosexual male!

Re:A Suggestion (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140045)

So if your penis is so big, then why are you so worried if other people have a better phone than you? Go get a job and stop being a homophobe.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138969)

the parent post should really be moderated troll or flamebait instead of insightful.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139681)

LOL I'm sure you are just trolling, but I guess I'll bite anyway... so far every carrier effort
to lock down the platform has failed because engineering bootloaders and rooting processes
are widely known and available. It'll be interesting to see what happens the first time
a device hits the market without the equivalent development device available. My guess is
the phones that can't be rooted will barely sell next to their extensible counterparts. Remember -
at the end of the day this thing is just a linux box running Google's JVM. Once you drop a new
OS on it, the carrier really can't tell without going through lots of machinations. I don't really
expect every HTTP request to be signed with a carrier-only key, and until that happens and
3g is just a big dumb pipe the OS is really easily switched out as I have said.

So, let's wait and see how the locked versus the hackable versions sell.

Re:A Suggestion (2, Funny)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139973)

Dream on. Android is the Obama of mobile operating systems.

So it is more intelligent, better than its predecessors, all in a sleek attractive package? Yeah, sounds about right to me.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140173)

I've used SSH/telnet clients on every smartphone out there on pretty much every carrier. Not sure what your point is with PuTTY... And I see no reason you wouldn't be able to make a VoIP application for Android, considering you don't need to go through the app store to upload programs onto and the SDK has everything you'd need to do to make that sort of program.

AC clearly has no idea what (s)he's talking about. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Re:A Suggestion (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138627)

You can have a smartphone without internet access. Arguably, every fucking phone is a smartphone these days; My stupid MOTO RAZR V3i has a datebook, voice records, text/video/image notes, and my contacts; finally, it can sync to Lookout. The additional features are still useful; especially if you have an alternate way to get software onto the phone.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

sargon666777 (555498) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138919)

My phone is actually quite dumb... it only does things for me when I specifically write code to have it do it... not only that but it seems like I have to tell it every little step.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139059)

If the phone has a unified data store and the ability to run arbitrary programs loaded into memory, it's a smartphone. Well, so long as it has enough screen to interface with the user. The Siemens S55 qualifies, for example, and it's a classic little suppository-shaped black and white phone... but it would run java applets, and it had a reminder system and some other PDA features. It was a free phone "back in the day". There are countless other examples, it's just the most pathetic I have ever owned. It doesn't have to have a lot of features out of the box if it is possible to add them.

Re:A Suggestion (4, Insightful)

ianmacfarlane (1509193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138637)

A non-smart Android phone seems a bit like an oxymoron. I think that for people who don't want a smartphone and just want to make phone calls, Android isn't the right solution. That said, for people like you who want Android but don't want a phone, the future looks fairly bright, with Android being ported to netbooks and probably all sorts of other devices (I'd expect an iPod-touch competitor at some point).

Re:A Suggestion (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139125)

I'd be happy with a plain cell phone that supports locale [twofortyfouram.com] , although that does require GPS. Hell, I'm annoyed that my current phone hard codes speed dial #1 to voicemail. I'm probably not exactly representative of most people though, but I hope there are enough like me to create some demand for this.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139873)

"A non-smart Android phone seems a bit like an oxymoron."

Dumb Androids dream of electric sheep.

Re:A Suggestion: Smart? (1)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138685)

what's a "smartphone"? It's one that has some "freedom" in its software (freedom with very small f), i.e. you can decide what apps to put on it, as in S60 or WindMobile or the jesus phone. Or Android. They're more expensive simply because an OS like that needs more silicon to run on. (err,that and the fact that people will pay more for it). So what's the point of an Android-powered dumb-phone? If it's underpowered and the UI gets slow, noone will want it as you'd be better of with your Nokia 3310.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138735)

All mobile phones are becoming smartphones. Google (and Apple, and everybody) don't care for "normal" mobiles, in a few years you will be able to buy androids/iphones for very low prices.

Re:A Suggestion (4, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138751)

One thing I see as very important is making sure not all of the phones are smartphones.

Every phone is a smartphone. At this point, the distinction is as meaningless as the distinction between smartphone and PDA five years ago, when people were making noise about the supposed "death" of the PDA. It is all marketing gibberish. And in another five years, you'll have to go out of your way to not get a data plan.

What matters now is what platform the phone runs, and whether it allows the installation of applications from anywhere, or only from a centralized store and blessed by the manufacturer, or only from a centralized store and blessed by the carrier, or not at all. Google is putting a stake in the ground for the first category, the open category, the one that resembles computers as we all know them. Apple and the carriers want to turn phones into consoles.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

sdturf (968920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139051)

You are not bound to get an internet/email plan just because you have a smartphone, are you? I have a WM phone and appreciate the apps like GPS, book and pdf readers, video players, and wifi capability (at home and free wifi spots,) and just pay for phone (and text) service.

Re:A Suggestion (1)

LabRat007 (765435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139347)

One thing I see as very important is making sure not all of the phones are smartphones....Not everyone can afford the expenses of internet and email that come with a smartphone.

Smartphones don't have to be "expensive". Personally I'm looking for one that has WiFi so I can avoid data plans completely. IMO android on a dumb phone sorta misses the point. If you're after a dumb phone any proprietary OS should treat you right...or right enough.

The Open Fist? (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138235)

Maybe he was just trying to coin a new term. He was talking about bitch-slapping.

Re:The Open Fist? (1)

mamono (706685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138385)

Or maybe, since "karate" means open hand, he didn't want to rule with his l33t fighting moves.

Re:The Open Fist? (1)

ADT7 (1458965) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138705)

That's a fairly common misconception, it's literal translation is actually "empty hand" rather than "open hand".

Re:The Open Fist? (1)

hampton (209113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138545)

Or perhaps about the Android's ability to display porn.

Re:The Open Fist? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138875)

A fist is still curving your fingers around to match your palm. If we open that up a little, you make a fist and open it slightly... I hope that's not what he's talking about.

Re:The Open Fist? (1)

phanoflife (1565253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139821)

Open-source; Iron-fist = Open Fist

edition names? (5, Funny)

societyofrobots (1396043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138237)

Google Home Basic

Google Home Premium

Google Business

Google-fied Ultimate

You forgot ... (5, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138597)

Beta.

Re:You forgot ... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138741)

In the Google part of the world Beta is assumed and it is a news story [slashdot.org] if they even consider taking something off beta.

In the MS world no matter what they call it. It will always be beta.

Really? (0, Redundant)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138951)

(Score:0, Flamebait)

Really? I got a good laugh out of your post, and I agree with the point you've made. Those with mod points must be having a bad week.

Open fist... (1, Interesting)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138247)

So they can try to bitch slap the iPhone!
Also - how does one 'pre-install' web based apps? I suppose you can have a special mobile client app, but all you need is a browser.

Re:Open fist... (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138541)

Also - how does one 'pre-install' web based apps? I suppose you can have a special mobile client app, but all you need is a browser.

If you are referring to the Android Market and the apps as being web-based, that would not be true (well, the market is heavily 'web-reliant'. The apps are downloaded from the web and installed locally. Pre-installing an app is as easy as including it in the custom source build. And: w00t! More droids! MORE DROIDS! ...Seriously though, I think that I will stick with the custom/rooted builds, myself. :)

I for one... (1)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138257)

welcome our open fisted overlords.

please forgive me. :D

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138533)

What one hand giveth, the same hand slappeth.

The other hand's probably "preoccupied" with web content.

Huh? (3, Informative)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138307)

I own a G1 and it already is " ... pre-loaded with Google apps like Gmail and Google Calendar" so my first thought is are they going to try and sell what I already have for more money and sell one with less features for the price of mine? If so that won't go over well. I mean $300 is great for a open source phone that I can write my own apps for like I currently have. However, if they go changing the recipe too much then they might screw it up!

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138465)

No, I think what the article is saying is that Google is offering scaled-back versions of Android, I'm guessing, so that more carriers will snap them up. Some carriers don't and won't want to offer phones with Google branding, pre-loaded Google applications, etc., since they want more 'control' over handsets than what Google was previously providing.

Re:Huh? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138689)

Of course since these are all ultimately android phones people will be making custom builds adding the features back and removing the carrier branding...

Re:Huh? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139039)

Only those who know what they're doing. The vast majority of these phones will likely be sold to 13-year old girls and 86 year-old grandmothers.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139631)

An impressive feat! Mysogynism, ephebophobia and gerontophobia, all in one! Posting anonymously because I have seen most of Slashdot is like that.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139781)

Exactly which world do you live in where most teenage girls and elderly grandmothers are proficient in technological areas?

And in what way did the GP indicate that he had a phobia of them?

Also, how is it impressive?

Please leave the internet.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138493)

From TFA:

It goes like this: there are three flavors of Android. Each is free.

Re:Huh? (1)

EBMN (1563583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139267)

Google can not "charge" more for free OS. They just want to offer more variety. I for one would go for fully-branded Google OS with no problem (I would actually prefer one since I use just about every G service) but there are more then few people that have no use for Gmail or calendar and would rather have more space on their partition for pr0n browsing or for decent MS exchange application. And, of course there are carrier restrictions, like recent AT&T stunt of delaying an Android phone and requesting AT&T look and feel instead of stock Android. They should just stick to Iphone and leave Android alone IMHO.

Competition brings Innovation (4, Insightful)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138343)

Alternatives to Apple's store are looking better and better. Sure, the company-branded software will be there, but being able to compete(!) gives Google a significant incentive to provide continually more functionality in its own software.

Comparing Apple(s) to (google) Oranges isn't always easy though... mostly because the gphones haven't been made publicly available. Time will tell, and it's my opinion that Google is going about this in a fairly well thought out manner.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138471)

Seriously good point! While people are always bitching about Apple "lock-in", you can't deny that Apple's "lock-in" drives innovation from competitors. In the end, everyone wins.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (1)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138887)

I think thats quite true when i think about it. Thank you apple for implicitly giving me an Android based handset.
Apple ain't so bad anyways. You just have to look past em and see whats hiding in there shadow.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (4, Insightful)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138985)

It's not apple's "lock-in" that drives innovation.. it's apples success in a certain new area of the market, that makes other players want their share of the pie.

The whole "open" and "free" talk from google is mostly marketing. I won't believe for a second that google went into the phone market out of ideology or the urge to make a "free" and "open" phone platform. They have a business model behind every move they make - and they are moving one step closer to having complete surveillance over their users.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139501)

How is it marketing? You can pick up the SDK and just start coding apps today. I'd say that's pretty open. You might need to buy a dev phone if you want to do kernel development, but hey, that's much better than just about any other platform I've seen. How open does it have to be before you consider it open enough? Oh. Riiiiight. You want to install Linux. Tough. But you can still do that with the dev phone if you really need to.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139703)

Android is a build of Linux. Dalvik is the google JVM that userland apps normally run in, but you can run a terminal and voila, there's your Linux. For some someone also has Debian running on the HTC Dream.

Re:Competition brings Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139765)

In other words, it's only "open" when you compare it to the insanely locked-down world of embedded devices. Hell, even the iPhone is open by that standard. (You can download the iPhone SDK today too. Does that make it open?)

Re:Competition brings Innovation (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139881)

Seriously good point! While people are always bitching about Apple "lock-in", you can't deny that Apple's "lock-in" drives innovation from competitors. In the end, everyone wins.

Unfortunately, it seems most entities are rushing to copy Apple rather than provide the less-lock-in alternative.

Avaliable Google phone (1)

just fiddling around (636818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140205)

In fact, there is at least one phone that is currently avaliable with Android: OpenMoko's FreeRunner.

Pros:

  • Runs Android,
  • Open firmware,
  • open case design,
  • open hardware,
  • OS can be changed between Linux, Android and a few other,
  • Has 3-axis motion sensors, touchscreen, A-GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi
  • Takes SIM cards so it can be tied to many GSM networks (one at a time)

Cons:

  • GSM only,
  • no 3G,
  • probably can't be locked to Google (because of the openness of the platform) so no "Android Ultimate Edition"
  • Not subsidised, so it costs 399$

Baby shaker app in 3, 2, 1... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138357)

could also lead to poorly constructed or offensive applications that could give Google a taint.

No doubt "baby shaker apps" and their ilk are in bad taste but deeming black humour immoral is a step too far. I thought it was funny and the reaction to it even more so. For me, the removal of that app and the NiN one from Apple's app store tainted Apple more than allowing them would have done.

Android should scare mainstream phone makers (5, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138361)

I was looking at a Chinese iphone knockoff, thinking that the hardware seems decent, but I wouldn't trust the knockoff operating system. With Android, though, the cheap knockoff can legally have the very same operating system, since they don't have to pay license fees. This means that if Samsung or whoever come up with a neato handset that makes them lots of money, three months later a Chinese factory will be making identical-looking knockoffs with the same Google-made software. This might even be legal! If I were a handset manufacturer, I'd be very scared of the openness of Android, but as a consumer, I would seriously take a second look at those Chinese knockoffs that will soon come our way.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138451)

Nothing stops Samsung shipping the phone with a proprietary shell on top of android. That could be closed source making
it illegal for another handset maker to redistribute it.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139457)

That's called software. That already happens on every platform which is available for developers to write code.

Dumbass.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (2, Interesting)

pancakegeels (673199) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138503)

And yet, Chinese phone companies insist on FAKING android: http://www.cect.se/product_info.php?products_id=104 [www.cect.se] (non english site) http://www.androiddevelopment.org/2009/04/16/dream-g2-phone-made-in-china-looks-like-android-but-isnt/ [androiddevelopment.org] presumably because these phones are somehow cheaper to make or easier to tap.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138505)

This might even be legal!

Maybe in China it could be. There is still the issue of copying the hardware which no doubt has trademarks and patents covering various portions of it.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (1)

ianmacfarlane (1509193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138511)

Wonder how updates would be delivered to these phones - G1 owners got the 1.5 "Cupcake" update delivered "over the air" automatically, and I think both G1 and G2 (HTC Magic) owners are expected to get the 2.0 "Donut" update delivered in the same way. Presumably, so long as you've got a data contract which does not discriminate against services, this could work fine. Hmm, yet another reason we need Net Neutrality!

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138805)

You must never have bought one of the Chinese iphone knockoffs. They do not use the same hardware and have very limited functionality even if the interface tries to look like the iphone. Try running Windows 7 or Vista on an old 386 PC and you will get an understanding of how frustrating this can be. Basic phone works. Multimedia and all the wiz bang features = not a chance.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (4, Informative)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138813)

I was looking at a Chinese iphone knockoff, thinking that the hardware seems decent, but I wouldn't trust the knockoff operating system. With Android, though, the cheap knockoff can legally have the very same operating system, since they don't have to pay license fees.

Indeed; a lot of the Chinese family-industry phones are technically fascinating (and quite cheap). Having a real OS would make them much more attractive.

Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy --- remember that Android is designed for a two-chip system, where one processor runs the user apps (and is the one running Android), and another processor running a quite different operating system handles the GSM stack. On the G1, for example, there's a massive 20MB-or-so operating system image for the radio processor. This usually runs some embedded OS like Nucleus, and is highly proprietary, signed to be tamper-proof, and is deeply regulated; in most countries, tinkering with the radio image will cause your local telecommunications regulator to slap you round the face with lawsuits before you can blink.

I don't know where the Chinese knockoffs get their GSM stack but it's probably ripped off from a commercial product --- copyright doesn't mean much there. Which means they're probably not properly licensed by the GSM people, which means that it's very unlikely you'll be able to legally operate them in other countries. They may work, but that doesn't guarantee anything --- and if the device has a bug in its GSM stack which causes a local outage, you'll be in a world of legal pain.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139379)

Indeed; a lot of the Chinese family-industry phones are technically fascinating (and quite cheap). Having a real OS would make them much more attractive.

I doubt it. People forget that cell phone customers aren't the end-user consumers. The cell phone customers are the carriers. Carriers don't like openness and user control.

Re:Android should scare mainstream phone makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139641)

Isn't this what was intended? I thought the entire plan of Google was to make sure Android is all over the place, including cheap Chinese phones, so that the OS floods the mobile market, encouraging developers to make programs only for it.. Basically what happened with Windows during the 90s. But in this case, because you don't have to pay for it, it's completely legal..

Taint... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138431)

Heh... they said 'taint.

Slap! (3, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138439)

Yes, it seems he really said "open fist," ..."

What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP! I'm Rick James, bitch!

Be careful... (2, Funny)

Herr Brush (639981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138489)

when using an open fist near the taint!

If updates are free, why buy new phones? (4, Interesting)

ianmacfarlane (1509193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138573)

Given the fact that Android updates (well, the one update) thus far have been free (the G1 update to Cupcake), how are the carriers going to encourage people to buy new handsets every 18 months? Obviously there can be things like improve cameras, sexier designs, bigger screens, faster processors etc, but I can see a lot of people sticking with what they've got for longer if the experience when using the phone is exactly the same. Obviously the carriers could also try rather artificial things like tying new services with new contracts etc, but I don't see that being so successful.

Re:If updates are free, why buy new phones? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138661)

People got rid of perfectly fine-working good-reception Mototola V555s to get Motorola RAZRs with half the battery life and maybe half the reception. They bought the phone on the basis of fashion. There's no reason to believe that trend will stop any time soon. Fuck, people buy new toasters because the old one doesn't match their new food processor and shit, they'll definitely buy a new phone. Also, the phones die! It's not like they're built to last. If you can get a replacement two-year-old phone for your insurance deductible of $40 or sign a new contract and get a shiny new phone that flashes colored lights when it plays your mp3 ringtones for $100... Well, you might get a refurb oldie, but most people will take the "upgrade".

Re:If updates are free, why buy new phones? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138817)

Also, the phones die! It's not like they're built to last..

not so sure about that, am still waiting for my 3 yr 6600 to die, have dropped it from 6 feet many times and has got drenched in the rain a few times
only had to replace the battery after 2 yrs as standby was only 2 days by now and 2hrs talktime, bought original nokia battery, get a weeks standby and 5-6hrs talktime, use iot for occasional gaming as well

same for my nokia 1108, have dropped it from the 1st floor to the ground(though it was grass,but still) and has survived many rains

similar can be said for my friends N70,72,E61

Re:If updates are free, why buy new phones? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138833)

I had been wondering this when my dad started getting all excited about iPhone 3.0 (incidentally, it fixes a few of the reasons I settled on a G1).

My guess is that they'll be relying on a mixture of improved hardware (802.11n for example, or from a cheaper non-GPS phone to one that does do GPS) and fashion.

Though this is also something hitting PCs, especially with Win7 working on more basic hardware, where the continual round of buying a new PC every n months is moving towards every 2n or 3n months as the hardware lasts longer. Companies relying on this continual stream of new sales of hardware and licenses are just going to have to adapt to it and I think phone manufacturers will likely have to go the same way and produce fewer handsets each with a higher price and a longer life.

That or they'll just design them to fall apart after 17 months and 3 weeks.

Re:If updates are free, why buy new phones? (2, Insightful)

webreaper (1313213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138849)

It's all about the hardware, not the software. iPhone firmware updates are free too, but people will still upgrade from 2G to 3G to the 3.0 hardware to be released later this year.

For me, I upgraded when WinMo devices moved to having built-in GPS, and I will upgrade my HTC Magic when my contract runs out to get a faster, lighter device with a longer-lasting battery, better (OLED?) screen, 3D projector, built in zero-gravity travel device, etc etc etc.

People upgrade because they want new shiny toys. A new OS gives that 'new coin' buzz but isn't half as exciting as videoing a box opening and playing with a sparkling new device.

Exactly (1)

Aldric (642394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139023)

For years I upgraded the OS on my HTC Blue Angel. WM2003 -> WM5 -> WM6 -> WM6.1. When I upgraded from my still working perfectly Blue Angel to HTC Diamond, it was to get the built in GPS and the same power in a much smaller form factor.

Read closely... (2, Insightful)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138625)

Rubin says: 'We want to abide by the law, but not rule with an open fist.'

I think he does mean to rule with an iron fist.

The headline causes one's mind to wander... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138761)

Okay, I do genuinely realize that flavor in this context is actually being used as a synonym for "version", but considering the general shape and size of cell phones these days, did anyone else think that the notion of cell phones having flavors might be just a little bit... ummm.... kinky?

Sprint? (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138763)

Now if only Sprint would get off their butt and release their phone. I really want an Android phone but not willing to switch over to T-Mobile just for the phone.

Re:Sprint? (1)

Turing Machine (144300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138883)

Couldn't you just buy an Android dev phone now and swap the SIM out of your Sprint phone?

More money up front, of course, but no contract obligation and you have root access to the phone.

Disclaimer: I haven't received my dev phone yet (it's supposed to arrive today!), so I'm not certain this will work. I'm planning to toss in the SIM card out of a Walmart Special prepaid phone I have hanging around, but that's a T-Mobile unit.

Re:Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138945)

Sprint being Sprint doesn't use a standard wireless protocol, they use a (modified) CDMA so that Sprint phones only work with Sprint phones. (Verizon uses CDMA right now too, but you can't get a Sprint phone to run on the Verizon network.)

They're the only carrier still doing this, as Verizon is planning on switching to GSM over the next few years.

Re:Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138977)

Sprint uses CDMA, so no SIM card.

PS. Every single prepaid phone that walmart sells uses CDMA as well, no SIM cards there either.

Re:Sprint? (1)

Turing Machine (144300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139167)

PS. Every single prepaid phone that walmart sells uses CDMA as well, no SIM cards there either.

The one I have was definitely purchased at Walmart, definitely is a T-Mobile unit, and definitely has a SIM card.

Re:Sprint? (1)

Turing Machine (144300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139197)

It looks like they have several models which use SIM cards. For example, this one [walmart.com] .

Re:Sprint? (1)

Evan Charlton (1498823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139011)

No, Sprint operates a CDMA network; all current Android phones only operate on GSM networks.

Re:Sprint? (2, Informative)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139341)

Couldn't you just buy an Android dev phone now and swap the SIM out of your Sprint phone?

More money up front, of course, but no contract obligation and you have root access to the phone.

Disclaimer: I haven't received my dev phone yet (it's supposed to arrive today!), so I'm not certain this will work. I'm planning to toss in the SIM card out of a Walmart Special prepaid phone I have hanging around, but that's a T-Mobile unit.

Would work well if Sprint didn't use CDMA, which unfortunately precludes the use of SIM cards [yahoo.com] .

Re:Sprint? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139017)

Same here. I'm tempted by the Pre, but this little voice in the back of my head says "Don't do it!"

I've been with Sprint since 2002 and have little to complain about, but they're takin' their sweet ass time with putting out an Android handset.

You don't want a Sprint Android phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28139191)

The reason Sprint's taking their sweet time releasing an Android phone is that Sprint's Android phone is going to be WiMAX-only.

Which currently limits you to Baltimore and Portland.

So if all you ever do is travel between Baltimore and Portland, then a Sprint Android phone may be for you!

If you live anywhere else, forget it. And given that Sprint currently has no active plans to expand their network given that they're hemorrhaging cash - you probably shouldn't hold your breath for it to make it to your area.

Also note that this means that, yet again, if you decide to go with a Sprint Android phone you're locked in to Sprint, since WiMAX doesn't have a SIM-card analog.

the goog abides (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28138839)

'We want to abide by the law, but not rule with an open fist.'

It's good to know that the Goog abides.

Google = ms? (-1, Flamebait)

ChrmnMa0 (951030) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138937)

It looks to me like google is quickly becoming the MS of the open source world....isn't it this type of thing that gets MS into anti trust lawsuits?

Open fist = Bitchslap? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28138957)

Whos your daddy?

How about (-1, Troll)

codepunk (167897) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139055)

I have a better idea, how about providing a native programming interface so we can squeeze some
performance out of the devices. I worked on porting some iPhone stuff to the G1 until I realized just
how bad the performance is using the java api.

Native code on Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28140097)

Android supports native code through the Java Native Interface. Thats how quake and doom http://code.google.com/p/doom-for-android/downloads/detail?name=Doom.for.Android.apk [google.com] are running on the G1.


    http://davanum.wordpress.com/2007/12/09/android-invoke-jni-based-methods-bridging-cc-and-java/ [wordpress.com]

DOOM for example is a standard Android ("Java") app which loads a native library, which in turn is nothing else than PRBOOM http://prboom.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] compiled as a shared library.

18-20 phones (5, Funny)

mrv00t (858087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28139511)

...announced that by the end of the year there will be 18 to 20 phones using the Android OS...

Doesn't sound like awfully lot to me. That's like about 2 phones sold per month.

Features I'm Looking For in My Next Phone (4, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140133)

  • Wifi (Must be able to connect to my home network at home)
  • SIP Client (Must be able to connect to my Asterisk server at home)
  • Bluetooth tethering for a MacBook Pro (For those rare times when I'm not near a wifi access point.)

A few years back I bought an unlocked Nokia E70 and that provided all this functionality, but T-Mobile kept breaking the data plan so I couldn't use the phone with my notebook. This rendered the data plan pretty much worthless, since doing anything on its postage-stamp-sized screen pretty much sucked. The battery life also wasn't that great, though you're never going to get awesome battery life doing what I was doing with it.

An unlocked Android phone would be capable of doing all that stuff but probably not on a 3G network. Nokia's E90 communicator also has all the features I want, a bigger screen than the E70 and a beefed up battery. I'd probably have to import one again, though. And I'd need to find a provider the phone is compatible with who allows tethering.

A good half of my cell phone woes are due to cell company suckage here in the states. The features I'm after have been widely available in Europe for ages now and we can't even manage them here even with the iPhone forcing things forward.

Want to give Google a taint? (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140137)

There's an app for that!

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