updated 11:45 am EST, Wed December 26, 2007
Android Phones in February
Phones using Google's Android platform could make their first public appearance as early as February, according to the exhibitor listing for the Mobile World Congress show beginning that month. The search engine developer has booked two separate spaces at the event, giving the company an unusually large amount of space that is not believed to be connected strictly to promoting the software side of its platform.
The California firm has not hinted at which manufacturers if any would use the Congress to showcase early devices but is believed to have worked with well-known smartphone maker HTC on one full QWERTY keyboard design, which has been seen both in the official announcement video as well as outside of Google's campus in leaked photos. Google has previously explained that completed Android phones should be available from HTC and other manufacturers such as Motorola or Samsung in the second half of 2008.
Google's presence contrasts sharply with that of Apple, which for a second year will be absent from the February trade show despite announcing its high-profile iPhone this past January. Apple has traditionally shunned major events such as the Consumer Electronics Show in favor of Macworld and other Apple-focused exhibitions, but is also known to regularly present and announce new products at industry-specific exhibitions such as the National Association of Broadcasters Expo or the NAMM music show.