Google executive: First Android mobile wasn't fully matured
Google entered the mobile telephony market with high hopes – now, however, its Director of Mobile Platforms, Andy Rubin, concedes that the company has had a bumpy start. Speaking from Google headquarters in Mountain View, Rubin said the first version of the Android operating system, whose development was spearheaded by Google, was initially a "version 0.8" rather than a full "version 1.0,". The Taiwanese vendor HTC released the G1 smartphone with Android software in the UK in November 2008. The phone is currently available exclusively from T-Mobile. Rubin says that, following several updates, the operating system has become "very solid".
In November 2007, the internet giant initiated the formation of an industry group to develop the Android operating system and release it as open source. While Android is mainly intended for smartphones, some PC manufacturers are also looking to integrate it into netbooks and other mobile internet devices. Google intends to use it for promoting its services, such as the search engine, on mobile devices and to generate advertising revenue this way. According to HTC, more than a million G1 devices were sold last year alone after the US launch in November. In April, Vodafone will launch the HTC Magic, the second Android mobile.
So far, there have been far fewer different Android models than anticipated by many experts. As Rubin explained the delay in an interview with dpa "Manufacturers need to change their processes, they are not getting an operating system that's 100 per cent ready for production". He said it is necessary to invest in adapting the software. As Android does not incur any licence fees, its overall cost is still about 20 per cent lower than that of a licensed operating system, added the executive.
Rubin emphasised that Google already reached its target of increasing the use of its services via mobile phones with the G1. He said the company embeds services like the search engine or Gmail, directly into the operating system and reaches consumers better this way and "In addition, there's a Google sticker on the G1, which made many Google enthusiasts buy the phone".
(Christof Kerkmann, dpa)