Samsung has confirmed that Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA will launch the first Samsung phones in the United States based on Google's Android platform. The confirmation, made by a Samsung executive at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 show in Las Vegas, puts to rest speculation about Samsung's Android plans for the near future.
Samsung will unveil multiple Android devices this year, according to Dr. Hong Won-pyo, Samsung's executive vice president of global product strategy for mobile phones. He said Samsung will launch its first Android handset in June in Europe, but said that U.S. customers would be getting Android phones in the second half of the year. The two U.S. devices will be "totally different" from one another due to carrier preferences, Hong told Forbes.com. Sprint and T-Mobile are the only two U.S. carriers to join Google's Open Handset Alliance.
Hong also said that the reason Samsung waited to release an Android phone was that it was waiting for approval from its operator partners. "Some operators were concerned about the vision Google has [and] that affected [timing]," Hong said. He also hinted strongly that Samsung was developing a great deal of customization to the user interface (UI) on top of the Android OS. "Our commitment is more to the Android phone than the Google Experience device," he said.
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