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Android to draw 4% of U.S. smartphone market before end of 2008

Google's Android mobile operating system is not yet available but research already indicates an Android-based phone will garner 4% of U.S. market share before end of 2008.

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Highly anticipated, the first smartphone sporting Google's mobile OS Android is not expected to be released for another couple of months, yet market research already indicates it will achieve a strong U.S. presence before the end of the year.

The first Android model hasn't even been announced yet, but a market research firm already predicts that Google's upcoming operating system will power 4% of the smartphones shipped in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of this year.

Strategy Analytics estimates that 10.5 million smartphones will be sold in the U.S. in the October-December period, with Android-based models totaling 400,000.

"Google has the brand power in the USA to make a big impact at launch. The main issue will be operator subsidies. As seen with the iPhone and smart devices in general, retail prices need to be well below $200 to be competitive," said Chris Ambrosio, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

According to a recent report, T-Mobile is going to charge $200 for its first Android phone. This device -- codenamed the HTC Dream -- is scheduled to be announced tomorrow.

More about the HTC Dream
HTC has done its best to keep a lid on details of the Dream, but some information has leaked out. According to some reports, T-Mobile will call this device the G1.

Leaked images and video show that it will have a touchscreen that moves to one side to expose a landscape-oriented keyboard.

FCC documents show that this smartphone will support T-Mobile's 3G network. In addition, this model will have Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR.

In addition, the G1 be available in black, white, and brown, and it will include a 3 MPx camera.

At its heart will be Android, a new Linux-based operating system for smartphones being developed by Google and a group of partners. This will be strongly tied to Google online services, and may even by advertiser supported.

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