T-Mobile To Launch Google Android Home Phone, Tablet

CRN Staff

T-Mobile plans to launch two new devices based on the open-source Google Android mobile operating system early in 2009, moving the OS away from just smartphones and putting it into other communications devices including a home phone and a tablet computer.

T-Mobile, in partnership with HTC, was the first to market with a device that runs the Android platform with the T-Mobile G1 last October. In an article quoting confidential documents, The New York Times said that T-Mobile will broaden its Android push beyond smartphones to include a home telephone and a small form-factor tablet computer based on the Android OS.

The Times noted that the home phone will plug into a docking station and come with another device to synchronize data while recharging that battery. The tablet, the report indicated, will boast a 7-inch touch screen and won't feature a physical keyboard.

T-Mobile spokesman Peter Dubrow told The Times that the fourth largest carrier has "several devices' planned for Android, declining to discuss specific products further.

Broadening the scope of Android beyond smartphones could give Android a leg up on competing mobile operating systems like Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS, the Apple iPhone 3G, Nokia's Symbian OS and Microsoft Windows Mobile.

The two new devices will be offered alongside the G1, which was slow to ramp up against other touch-screen titans like the BlackBerry Storm and the Apple iPhone 3G, but sales have been steady. Other device manufacturers, like Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and a host of others have vowed to release Android-based devices in the near future. Computer makers Lenovo and Acer are also said to be eyeing Android devices.

So far, HTC has led the Android charge, not only making the hardware for the G1, but planning to release the G2, dubbed the HTC Magic, this year, along with other Android-based smartphones.

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