DELAYS IN THE RELEASE of mobile phones built on Google's Android platform have been announced by the company which says consumers might now have to wait till the fourth quarter of 2008.
But according to the Wall Street Journal and its mystery unnamed sources, most companies won’t even have a phone out by that late deadline, and may be looking to the first part of 2009 instead. Funny how, just when you think life can't possibly get any worse, it suddenly does.
Google and 34 partner companies mustered just about enough enthusiasm to announce the Android back in November 2007, claiming the new phones, set to be a major competitor to Apple’s Iphone, would be out by the second half of 2008.
However, life’s little crises just kept getting the Android down and now apparently some mobile network operators like Sprint Nextel, have abandoned any attempt to get an Android on the market until 2009. This is purportedly because the majority of Google's attention and resources have been going to Sprint’s competitor T-Mobile USA, who still hope to have an Android mobile out by the end of Q4. We have it on good authority (from un-named sources of course) that Sprint actually asked Google “Do you want me to sit in the corner and rust, or just fall apart where I'm standing?”.
Even the world’s biggest wireless carrier, China Mobile, who count almost 400 million customers, will now be pushing back the anticipated delay of an Android phone to the end of 2008 or early 2009, according to those sources in the know over at the WSJ. A company spokesman for China Mobile is thought to have said the company’s happiness about the delays "could fit it into a matchbox without taking out the matches first".
And actually getting the handsets to market doesn’t seem to be the only problem. Apparently, even normally upbeat and optimistic software developers have been overcome by a sense of utter pessimistic despair, which they put down to Google’s continuous meddling about with Android software, changing things so often as to make it almost impossible for developers to actually make any programmes that would work on an Android.
A near suicidal, manically depressed developer told the INQ, "Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."
The WSJ reckons wireless carriers too are finding that the Android saps them of any will to live, making it very hard for handset makers to integrate the software, test it and build custom user interfaces to meet specs.
Director of mobile platforms at Google, Andy Rubin, gloomily noted that trying to develop software while the company’s irritating partners kept pushing for new features, was a time-consuming task. "This is where the pain happens", he sighed.
Taiwan-based High Tech Computers (HTC) and Samsung Electronics are two such companies rumoured to be working on developing the Android software platform, attempting to simplify mobile access to software applications and services.
But they think you ought to know... they’re feeling a bit depressed. µ
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