Google has formally entered mobile, not with a ?G-phone? but an open source mobile OS

Google’s open mobile OS confirmed

As expected, the company unveiled its ‘Android’ mobile software stack today, along with a new body of over 30 supporting organisations, collectively called the Open Handset Alliance.

So Android is a new OS and therefore a competitor for Symbian, Windows and various proprietary handset systems. As an open source project, anyone can use it, modify it and develop for it – a radically different approach from Apple’s with the iPhone. It’s being touted as a platform that can radically simplify the process of programming apps for mobile. The SDK is being made available on November 12.

Clearly Google hopes the big names in the Open Handset Alliance will drive Android forward – and ultimately give Google apps and services more reach on mobile. Among the members are:

  • China Mobile
  • eBay
  • Esmertec
  • Google
  • HTC
  • Intel
  • KDDI
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • NMS Communications
  • NTT DoCoMo
  • PacketVideo
  • Qualcomm
  • Samsung
  • Sprint Nextel
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Texas Instruments
  • T-Mobile

There’s a decent spread of operators and handset companies here, so the mythical G-phone should not be discounted yet. However, there are obvious omissions too – no Nokia, Sony Ericsson, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone or Orange.

Google said the first phones using Android would appear around mid 2008.

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