Dec 9th, 2008

Today was a very big day for the Open Handset Alliance as all of the following companies officially joined the Android bound ranks: AKM Semiconductor, ARM, ASUSTek Computer Inc. , Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International, Huawei Technologies, Omron Software, Softbank Mobile Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba Corporation and Vodafone.

People are making a REALLY big deal about Sony Ericsson joining, and rightfully so… more Android handsets is what everybody needs and wants and Sony Ericsson is among the world’s largest manufacturers. Here is the quote from Rikko Sakaguchi, CVP and head of Creation and Development at Sony Ericsson:

Sony Ericsson is excited to announce its membership of the Open Handset Alliance and confirm its intention to develop a handset based on the Android platform We believe Sony Ericsson can bring a wealth of experience in making consumer focused multimedia handsets with new user experience to the Alliance drawing on the successes of the Walkman and Cyber-shot sub-brands.  Sony Ericsson is a strong supporter of open operating systems and we believe the Open Handset Alliance offers an exciting opportunity for a new and unique user experience only Sony Ericsson can deliver.

An interesting development considering that a few short months ago, Sony Ericsson’s CTO said,

“[But] to go with mass production and working with prototypes are two different things,” he explained. “If you want to give every service away to Google, then Android is the perfect solution.”

Regardless of the past, eyes are on the future now and Sony Ericsson isn’t the only company who will have a BIG impact as a member of the OHA. Garmin bringing their navigation technology to the platform could be amazingly beneficial in several different forms:

  • A Garmin phone running Android, like the Nuvifone
  • A non-mobile phone based device, dedicated to GPS navigation
  • A navigation application in Android Market

If you ask me, all three of the above will happen at some point, its just a matter of when. Another interesting addition here is Vodafone. That seems to guarantee a extended reach for Android – Vodafone has over 200 Million subscribers. But perhaps MORE interestingly, Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless and it will be extremely interesting to see if this has any effects at pushing Big Red into the mixing bowl.

One thing is for sure… Android is offering a competitive advantage to those who embrace it and pretty soon, companies will be giving the cold shoulder at their own peril.

At the very least, this one press release has increased confidence in a HUGE 2009 for Android as ASUS, Borqs, Garmin, Huawei and Sony Ericsson are all likely to release Android Handsets in 2009. Exciting stuff ladies and gentlemen… exciting stuff.

[Via OHA PR, Pocket Lint]

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