Google phone with new Android firmware launched.

This year’s edition of the GSMA Mobile World Congress at Barcelona has seen only one phone launch as of this writing, and it is a Google phone! The new phone, HTC Magic was

The hTC Magic, unveiled at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009, Barcelona.
The hTC Magic, unveiled at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009, Barcelona. Image source: BBC

unveiled by Vodafone. It has updated Android firmware, named “Cupcake”. This touchscreen(isn’t that obvious!) phone has a 3.2 MP camera, Wi-Fi and GPS.  It does not, however have a slide out keyboard.  This phone will contain the on-screen keypad from the Cupcake firmware.  The Android Market, Google’s competition to Apple’s iPhone App Store, currently has over 800 applications. This is where users can get applications, currently free, for their Android phones.

Another interesting development over the week has been that the Android Market could be opened up to commercial applications, which will make it more popular among developers. This means that more applications for the Android framework can be anticipated. It remains to be seen if this phone can be a worthy competition to the iPhone. I presume it’ll take a few more firmware revisions and better acceptance from manufacturers before the Android platform truly takes off.

The HTC Magic will be on sale in the UK,  Germany, Spain and France as a Vodafone exclusive phone. It’ll also be available soon in Italy non-exclusively.  The phone won’t accept standard headphones as it uses a proprietary jack. It comes pre-loaded with several Google applications such a Maps, Mail and Search. Pricing details are not yet available but it is estimated to go on sale at around 150 to 200 euros, remember it it launched by Vodafone Europe. And no, it won’t be available in India anytime soon.

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