updated 08:05 am EDT, Mon April 6, 2009
Android tablet and T-Mo G2
T-Mobile intends to use Google's Android not just as a phone OS for its upcoming G2 but also in general computing devices, according to multiple sources. The New York Times this morning claims to have obtained documents which show both a home phone and a tablet computer in line for early 2010. It's not specified which companies would make either device, though the home phone would have a dock and a second charge-plus-sync peripheral.
Separately, Electronista was able to confirm at CTIA that the HTC Magic is coming to the US as the T-Mobile G2. After mentioning the Magic's appearance at the FCC with carrier branding to a person familiar with the plans, we were told that it should be available through T-Mobile "soon." It's currently expected for this month and, in US trim, will have a sharper 5-megapixel camera in addition to the expected 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi and dependence on its full touchscreen for input.
T-Mobile spokesman Peter Dobrow has publicly stated that multiple Android devices are in progress, but has declined to provide information beyond the existing G1.
While partly spurred on by T-Mobile's desire to expand into connected devices like its cameo photo frame, the move represents a significant but continued push for Google into competition with Apple and others focusing on generalized touchscreen computing devices. Multiple companies are suspected of developing Android-based netbooks and mobile Internet devices, at least some of which would use touchscreens for input. Google itself has consciously abstracted its Linux-based OS to allow for its use on with both button and touch input as well as many different screen sizes.
They are all thought likely to undercut the prices of Intel Atom-based netbooks courtesy of of both the low cost of using Android as well as the reduced need for fast processors. As Android can run on as little as a 200MHz ARM processor, companies can use faster ARM chips like Qualcomm's Snapdragon to provide netbook or faster performance but at significantly lower prices.