Jun 23rd, 2008

The Wall Street Journal has reported, and the entire world has basically re-reported, that Google Android is facing delays due to difficulties that carriers, manufacturers and developers are facing when customizing the platform for their circumstances.

As the story goes, the bulk of Google’s time is being taken by T-Mobile who still plans to release an Android handset this year although the timeline now seems to be “late 4th quarter”. Sprint Nextel and China Mobile’s handsets may both be delayed until 2009 while AT&T is still evaluating whether or not to make the Android leap.

The internet game of “telephone” has gotten a little bit out of hand with sources around the world reporting on Android delays without first looking at the facts.

Officials at repeatedly stated for the past several months that the first Android handset and/or handsets would be available in the 2nd half of 2008. Even if T-Mobile were to release the first ever Android phone in late Q4 2008 as is suggested will happen, last time we checked the last day of the 4th quarter is still part of the 2nd half of 2008.

Google and the OHA have been deliberatly vague about timelines because they know that they could face issues and setbacks. The delays being mentioned don’t seem to take into account some information that we’ve already known.

Sprint’s “delays” seem to be related to the fact that they want their first Android handset to be on their new 4G network and not their 3G network. It was only one month ago that the Sprint and Clearwire deal took place and Sprint’s WiMax network (XOHM) was announced as ready for commercial testing. We’ve learned those tests will take place in the Baltimore-D.C. area, but is it really a surprise that Sprint is retooling their focus to put out the first 4G product with Android? They were so obsessed with their Instinct iPhone killer but a 4G Android Handset would seem to have twice the potential.

Then you have China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, who is supposedly “delaying” their launch to either late 2008 or early 2009 because one of their partners is having trouble translating Android to Chinese. Ummm… hello people… that’s not a delay. At Google I/O, Andy Rubin specifically stated that Google would FIRST work and be perfected in English at which point they can work on altering it for other regions and languages.

The news has folks around the web making comments like, “I told you so”, “Google is learning mobile the hard way” and “it is still too early to count out Google.” Still to early to count out Google? Who even mentioned counting out Google?

Folks, the is delay is only perceived. As long as the first Android enabled handset is launched in the 2nd half of 2008 the only timeframe supplied will have been met. Of course Google (and the world) would rather launch with as many handsets and carriers on board as possible… but nobody thought for a minute that the creation and development of Android would be a cake walk.

[Via Wall Street Journal]

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