Vodaphone is releasing their first own-branded Android phone, described as a low-cost Android phone. It has got a 2.8-inch resistive screen, a 3.2MP camera and runs Android 2.1 Eclair. To be released in May. It also comes with a suite of Vodafone 360 Apps (for Facebook widgets integration and the like), it is to be seen how the Vodafone 360 experience as apps on Android compares with Vodafone's previously released Linux Mobile Foundation based 360 phone.
How low will the price be? Will Vodafone go all the way and sell this phone for £99 on a pre-paid plan? Interestingly Vodafone is pointing out this feature in their press release:
2. Vodafone’s proprietary pre-pay balance indicator permanently displays the customer’s latest balance status – it is updated after each voice call, SMS, start up, and also every 12 hrs when idle mode. There is also a soft-key configured for convenient top up.
This type of task bar, status bar overview of pre-paid credit status with one-click top up could really accelerate the adoption of pre-paid plans for Android devices instead of buying them with very expensive 2-year contracts. The Android phone sold like this would still be locked to only work on Vodafone for 2 years, but would at least only require pre-paid services hopefuly reasonably priced for voice, sms and most importantly for data usage of web browsing and apps.
As manufacturing cost for this 2.8" resistive Android phone might be below $100, this could really provide a taste of what is to come in terms of reaching huge worldwide market share for Android, reaching emerging markets as more than 4 Billion people around the world still don't have a smart phone and Internet access. How soon the sub-$50 Android phones with sub-$3/month pre-paid Internet data access in all the developing countries?
Vodafone own-brand devices are available in 31 Vodafone subsidiary or partner markets. It is the world's second largest mobile phone operator behind China Mobile. See an overview of Vodafone's market share in this Wikipedia article.
Found via: techradar.com
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The latest monthly report by AdMob on US-based web usage on smartphones (of sites and apps where AdMob is serving ads) shows that Android phones combined are now being used more than the iphone OS devices.
By these numbers, one can speculate if the overall share of Android devices sold per month in the USA is about to overtake the overall monthly share of sold iPhones, iPod touch and iPads.
Consider that most of the iphone OS share consists of iphones and ipod touch that were bought by consumers during these past 2 years. While most of the Android devices used at this point were purchased during the past 6 months. So this may increase the likelihood that Android sales per month have already overtaken the monthly sales of iPhones.
Consider that the Chinese market is getting several "Ophone" branded phones, which are based on modified Android OS source code. Consider also that the US and European market have not yet received significantly cheaper Android phones on their markets although many are planned to be released soon. Once pre-paid or totally unlocked Android phones are sold below $200 without contracts, those may expand the market share of Android phones even faster, as consumers likely much prefer a $200 unlocked phone or locked on pre-paid plans than a $200 locked phone that comes with a $3500 2-year contract.
In AdMob's numbers the Google Nexus One device is only achieving a 2% marketshare. My guess is that Google doesn't need to sell more Nexus Ones at this point. The Nexus One is only there to push the Android market forward. Google isn't going to compete with its partners yet. Nexus One is basically like a Development Kit for the Android industry that is also available to early adopters who can buy it over the web. But the more interesting business models will come once Google is selling Android phones at http://google.com/phone at below $200 unlocked and out of contracts.
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Another leak released by androidcentral.com unveils that Dell also has plans for releasing a "true "netbook"" that is ARM Powered, to run Android probably customized for Laptop form factors.
The code-name is Athens, 11" SVGA 1024x768 screen, optional 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity modules. There is also the code-name Sparta to be released perhaps as soon as June that may be a convertible Laptop and Tablet form factor.
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Hard Kernel already has a 3.5" gaming-oriented device which I filmed a couple of months ago (see here), now they are also announcing a 10" tablet device named ODROID-T.
Here are the full specs:
Samsung S5PC110 Cortex-A8 1Ghz with 512KB L2 cache
3D Accelerator SGX540(up to 20M triangles/s and 1000M pixels/s)
512MB Mobile DDR 400Mega data rate
10.1inch 1366 x 768 LVDS interface(capacitive touch)
1080p video playback via HDMI cable
Availability for worldwide shipping : Early June
Find more information at hardkernel.com
Today's Dell Android product leaks continue with this 7-inch Android tablet design powered by the ARM Cortex A9 based Nvidia Tegra2 processor! It'll also have an optional DVB-T and ATSC TV tuner module. 1.3 megapixel camera and an SDHC card slot.
Here's another new Android phone announced (or leaked) by Dell, to use the Qualcomm MSM7230 800mhz processor, 14.4Mbps download and 5.6Mbps upload HSPA, 512MB RAM, TV-out, Bluetooth 3.0 in this "curved glass" design. Dell is designing some kind of "Stage UI", similar to HTC's own Sense UI for their customized Android home screen and user interfaces.