Samsung has finally unveiled its much-anticipated entry into the market for Android-powered mobile phones, amid signs of rising consumer demand for handsets that employ Google’s operating system.
An official statement from Samsung revealed that the I7500 will be launched across Europe from June. O2 has been announced as the sole carrier of the phone in Germany, but it has yet to be confirmed whether a similar exclusivity arrangement will be in place in the UK.
The I7500 will be the third Android-powered to hit the market, following two rival devices from HTC, the T-Mobile G1 and the forthcoming HTC Magic, which is set for launch on May 5th.
More mobile phone manufacturers have also announced plans for Android-powered mobile phones in months to come, with Sony Ericsson reportedly poised to unveil its as-yet-unnamed offering during summer this year.
Specifications of the Samsung’s phone are broadly in line with its current competitors. All three phones are equipped with a 3.2 inch touchscreen, for instance, and offer HSDPA support for fast downloads of free and paid-for apps from Android market.
Significant differences do exist, however. The HTC Magic stands out for offering a huge 16GB of memory, compared with the T-Mobile G1’s 1GB and 8GB in the case of the HTC Magic. However, both of the latter phones’ memory capacity can be expanded by adding a microSD card. The imaging capabilities of the phones also vary. The HTC Magic and T-Mobile G1 both offer a 3.2 megapixel camera, compared with the five megapixel lens fitted to the I7500.
News of Samsung’s forthcoming device comes as evidence suggests that consumer demand and awareness of the merits of Android phones is rising. This was confirmed when T-Mobile last week revealed it had sold over one million units of its so-called Google phone since its launch just over six months ago.
However, Android phones still have some way to go before challenging the iPhone for supremacy in the smartphone market. According to Apple, some 3.79 million of the handsets were sold during the first period of 2009 alone.