Orange has emerged as the favourite to win exclusive rights to sell the HTC Hero in the UK, it has been suggested.
According to a report from Mobile News, the company has overcome stiff competition from rival mobile phone networks to be first in line to become the sole UK carrier of the handset.
A UK release date for the Hero has yet to be confirmed, but the phone is expected to make its debut in the US in August.
Should the rumours concerning Orange prove correct, it would mark the first time that a phone using Google’s operating system has been offered for sale on the network.
The Hero is to be another foray into the Android market from HTC, following the highly successful, one million-selling T-Mobile G1 and the HTC Magic.
Features of the smartphone include a three megapixel camera as well as HSDPA and Bluetooth support.
Rival manufacturers also planning to launch Android-powered handsets this year include Sony Ericsson, Samsung and laptop specialists Acer.