Christmas to see flood of Google Android phones

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This Christmas will see the market "knee deep" in Google Android handsets as it meets a point where software, hardware, marketplace and user expectations finally meet.

This was according to Android Academy software development manager Carl Whalley, with Motorola "betting the farm" on Android, Samsung bringing out the i7500 by the third quarter, HTC already out with its models and expecting more, and LG bringing out a device in 2009.

Whalley said that Apple had done the hard work in getting people interested in touch screen handsets, thanks to its iPhone, and that Android phone makers would benefit from the "education" they were giving about smartphones, such as with high profile advertising.

Whalley said: "So far, smartphones have been for geeks or high-end business users."

Manufacturers could also charge less for Android mobile phones as they were open source. It also meant that they did not have to worry about maintaining their own operating systems, as Android would take care of any upgrades needed.

This still benefited Google, as although its profits were based on adverts it could encourage Google web application use by having more handsets in the market.

Whalley said: "You have Gmail, Google Maps, all the other services that you're used to from a desktop browser.

"It's all going to integrate with Android," he added.

Whalley also talked about how the Android platform was also moving to other areas now and in the future, such as set-top boxes, netbooks, navigating systems and digital photo frames - and said that Android would be used by enterprises in the near future.