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Is Motorola Now Saying 'Hello Android?'

Motorolamay be turning to Google Android in hopes of boosting slumping device sales.

The Washington Post, citing an Android developer approached by a headhunter to join Motorola's Android team, reported that Motorola is assembling a team of up to 350 Android developers to kick-start its mobile business. That will bulk up Motorola's Android team from the 50 it has today working on the open-source Linux mobile operating system.

Android hype reached fever pitch last week with T-Mobile announcing the G1, also known as the HTC Dream, the first commercially available mobile device based on Android. The G1 is expected to be available Oct. 22 and is being seen by many in the industry as representing a true rival to the Apple iPhone.

The swirl of excitement around Android has prompted other device manufacturers, Motorola included, to bulk up their push for all things Android.

Motorola has never been able to recapture the luster it garnered with its line of RAZR V3 feature phones, of which millions were sold with its 2004 release. And a big complaint is that Motorola has never quite mastered the tie between hardware and software. Motorola may hope that by teaming with Android the integration between hardware and software will improve.

Motorola already has its hands on the Google Android cookie jar, being one of the original members of the Open Handset Alliance, along with HTC, which made the hardware for the T-Mobile G1.

Android is enticing to device makers because of its open-source nature—meaning they don't have to pay licensing fees to whoever controls the operating system.

Nokia, too, is rumored to be looking to get in on the Android craze. While Nokia is not yet a member of the Open Handset Alliance, it is rumored to have been organizing an Android Team. Nokia's Android play, however, would conflict with its Symbian offering, which is a direct competitor with Google Android.

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