DoCoMo Preps for 2009 Android Launch
DoCoMo is gearing up for launch of the Google phone in 2009 according to company officials. The Nikkei said Wednesday South Korea’s KT Freetel is also involved in the DoCoMo-Google project but the official said nothing had been decided on potential partners. DoCoMo has a 10 percent stake in KT Freetel. The daily also said the new Google phone would come with a keyboard and a touch-panel display and be some 20 percent cheaper than currently available cellphones.
“As we are allied with Google, we are considering a commercial mobile device together,” a DoCoMo official told AFP. The open-source Android software and ability of outside developers to write applications for the device is seen as a major selling point by Google and its partners.
While the open-source side of the equation can be somewhat attractive, it also presents a very real challenge to an operator like DoCoMo when it comes to making sure that openess does not threaten security – think GPS and data privacy – of it’s valued customer base. Our bet is this is a delicate matter which they have been struggling with and the final output will most likely have some added checks and balances built-in.