Samsung gave the world a small glimpse of its first model running Google’s Android operating system for smartphones. This device is expected to be released later this year by several wireless phone companies.
The emphasis is definitely on “small” as the company only briefly showed a low-resolution image of this upcoming device to dealers in Europe. Still, gsmhelpdesk.nl was able to snap a picture, shown at right.
The image is blurry, but it’s good enough to reveal a few the basics on this model: it will apparently have a tablet shape and a touchscreen, and there was no mention of a sliding keyboard. This matches with earlier, unconfirmed reports, which said this phone will be similar to Samsung’s Omnia and Instinct.
Coming to Sprint and T-Mobile
This isn’t the first time Samsung has talked about its first Android-based product. A spokesperson said last month that her company will introduce a smartphone based on this new operating system in the second half of this year.
Samsung said in January that this model will be released by Sprint and T-Mobile, and information that leaked out of Sprint yesterday indicated that it is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
Android Popping Up All Over
The first model running Android, the T-Mobile G1, launched last fall, and since that time quite a number of device makers and wireless carriers have committed to it.
HTC, T-Mobile, and Samsung jumped on board early; more recent converts include Garmin, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Asus, and Archos, while Dell is supposedly interested, too.
For those who are unfamiliar with it, Android is a consumer-oriented mobile operating system created by Google. Not surprisingly, it is strongly tied to Google’s online services, like Gmail and Google maps.