As recently as November last year, Android mobiles were an unknown quantity. But then came the T-Mobile G1, which has racked up over a million units sales worldwide. In the meantime, we’ve had the similarly popular HTC Magic as well as the more recent T-Mobile G2 and HTC Hero.
However, it’s telling that most of these sales will have been to tech-savvy mobile phone fans who think nothing of spending the best part of a thousand pounds on a handset. That looks to be about to change, however, with the launch of a series of more wallet-friendly phones using Google operating system that promise to make Android mobiles accessible to the man in the street.
Leading the charge is the freshly announced T-Mobile Pulse, which will be the first-ever Android phone to be available on pay as you go plans and will go on sale in October. Better, still it’ll only cost £180 to buy outright, with T-Mobile charging £5 per month for internet access or £1 per day.
Developed by Huawei, the Pulse offers a 3.5-inch touchscreen and 3.2 mega-pixel camera. And there’s built-in GPS, access to Android Market and pre-installed Google apps, too.
Huawei’s handset looks like it will be followed soon after by the Samsung Galaxy Lite. Although yet to be officially confirmed, the handset has been pictured on a French Android fan site and will be a slimmed down version of the just launched Galaxy Lite i7500, with a correspondingly smaller price tag.
As with the Pulse, full access to the Android Market App Store is on offer, as are key Google applications. Speculation is rife as to which specs which change for the handset, but it is thought certain that a lower grade camera. Samsung is also likely to cut storage space in order to be able to pass on savings to its customers.
Commenting on developments, Jessica McArdle, marketing manager of Top 10 Mobile Phones, said: “Android mobile phones have been the buzz handsets of the year with sales to match the coverage they generate on technology sites.
“The Pulse and the Galaxy Lite, however, promise to take them to a market who couldn’t have contemplated owning a high-end Android phone previously.”