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Despite of pessimistic predictions, the first phone to feature Google Android operating system is set to be launched on the 23rd of September, 2008, inline with the original promises of the search giant.

The first ever cell phone featuring Google Android platform and built by T-Mobile will be released in the U.S. already next week. The unit will cost $199 for those, who sign a certain contract with T-Mobile, which is expected to offer its customers “aggressively priced” data service plans, reports Reuters news-agency citing the Wall Street Journal. It is unclear when and whether the first ever Google Android phone is set to be released in other regions, such as Asia and Europe.

The Android handset, which is manufactured by High Tech Computer (HTC), will carry on Google brand, a departure from the standard practice of listing only the manufacturer and wireless carrier on handsets, the news-paper reported late on Wednesday.

Not much is actually known about the HTC “Dream” smartphone based on Google Android operating system. What was officially revealed is that the handset will have a large touch-sensitive screen with haptic feedback as well QWERTY keyboard. The device is reportedly 5” long and 3” wide. Unfortunately, no more information about the HTC “Dream” is available: its battery time is not certain and it is also unclear whether the device can be used as portable digital media player.

Many observers expect Google Android phone to substantially influence further development of the mobile phone market and, perhaps, even re-shape the smartphone space. Google is a very influential company these days, but entering a completely new market means that the firm should offer the best device possible. With the first Android device, Google will have to rival Apple’s iPod as well as huge family of Nokia business and multimedia phones.

In fact, the initial Google Android phone release may not have a substantial effect at all as Google recently removed several potentially interesting features from its Android software development kit. In particular, according to software developers, the company cut Bluetooth support by applications, removed support of Flash, disabled support of Google Talk API. In addition, there is no clarity regarding support of global positioning system (GPS) as well as Microsoft Exchange.

Tags: Google, Android, HTC

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