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Android, Google’s new mobile operating system, is starting to show up on more and more phones. Today, the Open Handset Alliance — Android’s industry consortium umbrella group — has added 14 new partners, so expect this trend to continue. The new partners range from infrastructure service providers, like navigation company AMK, to manufacturers like Sony Ericsson, to carriers like Vodafone.
It’s not clear how seriously these companies are taking Android, yet. Some OHA members, like U.S. carrier Sprint, have been openly skeptical — although it may be warming up. Still, manufacturer HTC has launched the G1 Android-powered phone with carrier T-1, and the phone has already been handily beating sales estimates. Manufacturers in monster market China and in Australia, are also set to launch Android phones.
Of note for U.S. mobile consumers: Vodafone owns 49 percent of Verizon, the largest carrier in the country. Verizon is not an OHA member, but maybe it will be, soon?
OHA is intended to “drive smartphones into the mass market price points under $200,” as Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs told us September. The long-term result of more Android partners will be more, cheaper Android phones and a wider adoption of the mobile web. The more people use the mobile web, the larger the market for Google to sell mobile ads. In the future Google aims to “earn more money from mobile advertising” than from web-based advertising. Android itself is free and open-source, unlike other mobile operating systems. Clearly, its efforts are continuing to gain momentum.
The list of partners, from Google, with quotes, below the jump:
AKM is very pleased to provide comprehensive navigational aid technology to Android. AKM’s hardware and software solution ensures that mobile navigation aids perform at a very high level of usability, thus enriching the overall user experience with mobile phone-based navigation applications.
— Larry Gaddy, Marketing Manager, AKM Semiconductor
ARM is very pleased to join the Open Handset Alliance and to contribute ARM’s OpenMax DL libraries and insight on the ARM architecture to the Android Open Source Project. Android is an excellent platform to enable Web 2.0 services on mobile devices, and demonstrates the innovation that ARM is seeing around mobile devices.
— Ian Drew, Vice President of Marketing, ARM
ASUS is a leading handset manufacturer that will soon deliver high quality, innovative Android devices and technology for world class carriers and consumers.
— HC Hung, General Manager of Personal Mobile Device, BU, ASUSTek Computer Inc.
Atheros embraces the Open Handset Alliance’s vision of creating a rich mobile user experience through the numerous benefits of open source development. We are pleased to bring our connectivity and wireless systems design expertise to the Alliance, confident that Atheros’ contributions to Android will help advance the development of mobile innovations through connected experiences.
— Amir Faintuch, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Business Unit, Atheros Communications
We are excited to be part of the Open Handset Alliance. Borqs has been working with members of the Alliance since July, 2007. Together, we have made significant progress designing Android based handsets with multiple handset partners for China and other markets around the world. Borqs is on track to launch multiple Android based handsets with our OEM partners in the first half of next year. We look forward to working with other Open Handset Alliance members to deploy Android based products and services worldwide.
— Pat Chan, CEO, Borqs
Ericsson Mobile Platforms will support Android on selected platforms, both with external application processors and with integrated solutions. Such support will include necessary kernel code, drivers and modem interface code in the Android Open Source Project, and will be available from mid-2009 onwards.
— Robert Puskaric, Head of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.
We are happy to join the Open Handset Alliance. By participating in the Open Handset Alliance and adopting the Android platform, Huawei enhances its handset strategy for worldwide markets. This enables Huawei’s portfolio of Android terminals for our customers, and Huawei is committed to deploy Android devices toward 2009. We believe the Android platform will provide an innovative edge in end user satisfaction
— Li Jilin, Vice President, Huawei Communications
Omron Software is pleased to join the Open Handset Alliance. Omron believes that Android will enable more users to receive the benefit of living in a connected society. We are supporting the Android platform and hope our contributions to the Android Open Source Project will further enrich communication between people all over the world.
— Hirofumi Fukumoto,General Manager, Mobile Solutions Business Division, Product Development Department, Omron Software
SoftBank Mobile is proud to be a member of Open Hanset Alliance. We firmly believe that the more wide use of open mobile platforms that the Alliance promotes will bring technological innovations in the industry. This will surely be enormous advantage for our users.
–Masanobu Yoshida, Senior Vice President, product and service division of Softbank Mobile Corporation
Sony Ericsson is excited to announce its membership of the Open Handset Alliance and confirm its intention to develop a handset based on the Android platform We believe Sony Ericsson can bring a wealth of experience in making consumer focused multimedia handsets with new user experience to the Alliance drawing on the successes of the Walkman and Cyber-shot sub-brands. Sony Ericsson is a strong supporter of open operating systems and we believe the Open Handset Alliance offers an exciting opportunity for a new and unique user experience only Sony Ericsson can deliver.
— Rikko Sakaguchi, CVP and head of Creation and Development, Sony Ericsson
We are the market leaders in providing innovative services and solutions to the major companies in the mobile communications industry. We want to use our expertise to help companies build products on the Android platform. We will contribute our code and solutions to the Android Open Source Project to benefit the community. We have great experience in providing similar value in both Linux and Java. Working with Teleca will enable our customers to benefit from faster time-to-market and significant cost savings.
— Edwin Moses, Senior Vice President and Head of Customer & Market Organization, Teleca.
Joining the Open Handset Alliance today is a logical step in our mobile internet journey. Working with emerging terminal platforms for smartphones is critical for us to deliver unbeatable customer experiences and accelerate time to market for innovative products and services.
— Frank H Rovekamp, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Group.
Matthäus Krzykowski contributed to this article.