Just as excitement over the Android platform developed by Google started to wane as the G1 announcement is followed by a slew of other phones, Android is once again thrust into the spotlight when Kogan recently announced they will begin shipping the world’s second phone to use the Android OS in January 2009.
Actually, the announcement has been made a few months back but nobody really paid any attention, however with the imminent release of the new Kogan Agora and Agora Pro, interest have been piqued. Ruslan Kogan initially intended for the phone to be sold at a price point of $199, but the forces of economics have since taken a beating and the new Agora and Agora Pro will debut at $299 and $399 respectively, and that’s in Aussie dollars so expects prices to fall if you are from another country =).
Kogan is an online-only retailer that has its handsets manufactured in China, and it packs a 320×240 2.5-in touchscreen, 3G, Bluetooth and microSD slot for memory while the more expensive Pro throws in a GPS and 2MP camera module and the omnipresent WiFi. The specs are nowhere near as great as the G1 by HTC, but then again the prices (unsubsidized) are also correspondingly lower, so if you are interested in checking out the Android platform this would be the best way.
But then again, pictures of some China handphones sporting the Android platform have been floating about and if true, it would mean that China handphones will be a force to contend. They are frequently sold at a very cheap price and feature things like 3-inch touchscreens, incredible sound, TV-tuner, etc. The only problem so far with most Chinese phones is the clunky UI. Now with the free and open Android, here’s me hoping that somebody figures out how to wipe the built-in OS of my China phone and replace it with the Android and I’ll be a happy man indeed.
Let’s see how China handphone manufacturers embrace the Android. If successful, expect the whole world to be flooded by cheap and powerful phones pretty soon on the Android platform.