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Google makes its smartphone debut

T-Mobile G1 launched in US; HTC confirms Android phones will be available in the Middle East ‘in near future’

The first mobile phone in the world powered by Google’s open-source Android operating system has been launched in a joint venture with T-Mobile in the United States.

T-Mobile G1, developed by HTC, has a large color 3.2 inch touch-screen that slides out to expose a full keyboard. The smartphone will be available in stores across America on October 22 at a cost of $179.

The G1 provides instant access to Google Maps and Google Talk and boasts a 3-megapixel camera, GPS navigation, WiFi access and a high-speed internet browser. Many unique applications, built especially for use on Android OS will also be available for download to phone users.

While the T-Mobile G1 will not be available in the Middle East, other manufacturers are expected to come out with their own Android phone over the next twelve months.

When Google announced its plans for the operating system in November 2007, it was the first step for the Open Handset Alliance, formed by 34 global companies, to lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services

Samsung, LG Electronics and Motorola are some manufacturers that have already expressed interest in coming out with their own Android-powered phones.

Kevin Chen, general manager of HTC Middle East revealed to itp.net that the company “will launch Android phones in ME in the near future”, adding that “the launch date will be informed later.”

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