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'Google phone' makes its debut

Network operator T-Mobile's US unit presents the first mobile phone to run on Google's Android software on Tuesday. Built by the Taiwanese company HTC, the phone is to go on sale in the USA in October and is expected to be launched in Europe in 2009.

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A mobile telephone tailored to run on Google's Android software is to debut next week in New York City.

US telecom carrier T-Mobile is slated to unveil on September 23 a "Google phone" built by Taiwanese firm HTC and to have the device for sale in stores as early as October.

Google is hoping Android will become the dominant operating system for mobile phones. It is designed to improve the speed and quality of using the Internet on handsets.

Android is being developed as an "open source" platform, meaning anyone is free to use the technology to make mobile telephones compatible with the networks of multiple carriers.

Google announced Android plans late last year and analysts reacted by saying it could potentially transform the mobile telephone market by providing service supported by advertising instead of subscription fees.

"We are seeing a number of technology companies demonstrating how Android will operate on their technology," Google spokesman Barry Schnitt told AFP at a Mobile World Congress gathering in Spain early this year.

"Clearly momentum is building."

Google announced a 34-member group called the "Open Handset Alliance" in November of 2007 to develop Android, including China Mobile, HTC, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, Telefonica, LG and eBay.

ARM, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, NEC, ST Microelectronics were reportedly among companies that demonstrated Android phone prototypes at Mobile World Congress.

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