Many Android phones have been delayed in 2009. We have been expecting 15-20 new Android devices before year’s end and it appears most of them will launch near the end of Q4. Finally we are beginning to see some unofficial dates, so I thought it was time to review all the rumors.
August 3, 2009 – HTC Lancaster
This phone was first leaked by Engadget back in May and was supposed to be AT&T’s first Android offering. Looking at the specs, it appears to be the same guts as all other HTC Android phones. The target availability was listed as August 3rd, but no news has surfaced since then.
Included with the leak was the following note, “Initial Lab Entry dates were based on Google Mobile Services (GMS) UI, AT&T standard UI has been requested, which puts schedule in question.” This tells me that AT&T might still be tweaking Android to their liking and this is most likely the reason for delay.
I don’t see tons of people rushing out to buy this phone, but I know many AT&T customers would like an alternative to the iPhone. With the right price point (sub $100), I think it has the potential to enjoy the success of the G1.
Q4 2009 – HTC Hero
Engadget has reported the the HTC Hero has been approved by the FCC for AT&T 3G bands. With time running out, it will be interesting to see how AT&T would launch both of these HTC phones together.
I expect we could see something similar to the way Rogers offered the HTC Dream and HTC Magic on the same day. Two similar phones, but one with the keyboard and one without.
October 11, 2009 – HTC Hero
Most Android fans are familiar with the HTC Hero by now. The phone is currently available in the UK and has received positive reviews. T-Mobile USA chose to pass on the Hero and went with the myTouch 3G as their flagship phone for 2009.
A leak started on XDA for the American release date of October 11th way back in April, but no carrier was mentioned. The same leak revealed new information last week that led us to conclude the phone is headed to Sprint. CDMA support is already appearing in the latest Android code and should be ready by October.
Recent rumors also suggest this might be the first Android phone with WiMax support on Sprint’s new 4G network. Clearwire is working with Sprint in building the WiMax network and reported it will have service in 10 cities starting September 1. One of those 10 cities in my hometown Corpus Christi, TX so I’m really crossing my fingers that this rumor comes true.
October 11, 2009 – Samsung Q
The same leak that told us Hero would come to Sprint also listed the “Samsung Q” as launching the same day. CellPassion has reported that a new Samsung phone is coming with the model number M900. The device pictured above is the M850 to give you an idea of what the phone might look like.
It’s also entirely possible that Samsung Q could refer to another device. Samsung has a line of mobile internet devices called the Q-Series. It has been suggested that Sprint is also testing WiMax devices for Samsung. Check out the Mondi which was demonstrated at CTIA. The device had Windows loaded, but would it really surprise you to see Android pop up?
October 21, 2009 – Motorola Morrison/Cliq
The Motorola Morrison has been making more frequent appearances. The above image leaked by Phandroid, appears to be the final hardware. I recently did a wrap up of everything we know about this phone and I think it will be named the CLIQ when it finally goes on sale.
I predicted an October launch date and now a “trusted source” from DroidDeveloper claims the phone will hit October 21st. Motorola is holding their MOTODEV Summit on October 6th and plans to preview upcoming devices. I think it is entirely possible this phone could make its rumored date.
Q4 2009 – Samsung Bigfoot & Samsung Houdini
According to Samsung, they were supposed to have Android devices for Sprint and T-Mobile by Q2 2009. That never happened, but they managed to launch the Samsung Galaxy overseas. That same phone model, the i7500, has been approved by the FCC using T-Mobile’s 3G bands.
Most of us thought we would hear something by now, but that has not been the case. T-Mobile had both phones listed on their leaked roadmap for 2009, but plans could have changed. I expect we will eventually see the i7500 in one form or another, but there is no clue what the other device will look like. There have been several leaked pics of the Bigfoot with each one looking like a different phone.
October, 2009 – Motorola Sholes
Verizon customers waiting for Android should keep their eye on Motorola. It appears the rumored Sholes might be their only hope this year. Motorola has confirmed they will have two devices on sale this holiday season for two major carriers. As seen above, we think the Morrison on T-Mobile will be one device and the Sholes on Verizon will be the second.
The picture should come into focus by mid September. There are no CPU specs, but I have been speculating it could be a Snapdragon based device. Anonymous readers have suggested the CPU is the Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 — Same as the Palm Pre, but I find that hard to believe.
Bonus: Cellular South
We can’t talk about Android phones and leave Cellular South out. This regional carrier recently announced it would offer an Android phone later this year. They run a CDMA network that covers parts of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.
It remains to be seen what type of device they will sell. Cellular South currently offers phones from HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and LG who all have new Android phones coming. My best guess would be the CDMA version Hero or maybe the low priced HTC Click.
I believe the regional carriers will play an important role in Android’s future and we will be bringing you further updates when we get them.