Friday, October 10, 2008

Google Android Phone To Flush Indian Markets By New Year

New Delhi -- With many cool mobile handsets entering the Indian markets, the mobile phone users are getting more options to choose from. Excited about owing the new Google phone? Wondering when the phone will hit Indian shores. As is the trend, Indian subscribers come what may are left behind waiting whenever it comes to experiencing new innovations or highly anticipated products or services, besides being overpriced.

But, according to a business daily, Taiwanese handset behemoth High Tech Computer (HTC) is is currently in talks with a leading service provider to launch the Android platform-powered phone generally known as the “Google Phone” in India by New Year. However, the Apple iPhone and the Nokia N96 are already available in the India market.

HTC which is planning to roll out the G phone, having an exclusive agreement to market phones in India with service provider Airtel said that it is free to sell the phone through independent retail channels. The business model is still under consideration.

The Google phone complements a computer type keyboard, touch screen, and the new operating system “Android” by Google. The features are similar to what is found on the RIM Blackberry and the new iPhone from Apple.

In addition, the phone has a trackball for navigation, high-speed Internet browsing, WiFi, email, instant messaging and SMS texting. The phone functions on 3G network and is specially designed to offer high-speed Internet surfing.

It also has a Global Positioning System (GPS), a 3 mega-pixel camera with photo-sharing capability and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a feature lacking on the iPhone. Like iPhone, in G1 users cannot shoot video.

There is also a feature by which Gmail users will get instant notification whenever they receive a new message in their inbox. Available in three colors -- black, white and brown -- it includes familiar Google services, such as Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. Like the iPhone and other smartphones, the device is meant to broaden the appeal of Web surfing on the go.

Ajay Sharma, country manager, HTC (India), told Business Standard: “We would prefer a mobile operator tie-up to introduce the Google phone in India in December.”

HTC’s G1 (the Google phone model) will cost more since “the Indian market does not work on the handset subsidy model”.

However, Indian consumers will have to shell out more for G1. The price, however, will be higher than the US debut tag of around Rs 8,200 ($179). Though HTC is still to confirm the prices for G1 in India, it is expected that the phone will be priced higher than Rs 20,000.

The phone has largely being termed as Google’s rival to Apple iPhone was launched by TMobile in US earlier this week. Apple’s 3G iPhone sells for $199 8GB in US as compared to Rs 31,000 for 8GB in India.

Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices that was announced in November last year and developed by the Open Handset Alliance -- a group comprising players like Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola and Samsung.


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