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Reports of Android’s demise somewhat exaggerated

Information Week’s Eric Zeman decided that the fact he hadn’t heard much about Android on the first day of Mobile World Congress meant that the platform was in trouble:

Um. What gives? Many manufacturers have committed to the Android platform. Where are the handsets? Mobile World Congress is one of the biggest mobile events of the year. Android’s failure to show up makes me very nervous about the platform’s future.”

This got picked up by both MacDailyNews and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, which doubtless means that thousands of Mac fans the world over will take away the idea that Android is dead.

Only one problem. Eric’s report wasn’t  accurate. Let’s look at the key bits.

“Nokia (NYSE: NOK)’s new phones don’t run Android”

This is hardly news. Nokia is a major backer of Symbian, and is hardly likely to use Google’s. Sounding surprised that Nokia isn’t using Android is a bit like being shocked that Apple isn’t – fake surprise.

“HTC also failed to announce any new Android gear. Instead, it focused on announcing two new Windows Mobile 6.5 phones”

Perhaps Eric simply missed the HTC Magic, which Vodaphone will be flogging soon. Or perhaps he just got confused because it isn’t called the G2, as was widely expected.

“LG already has picked a a smartphone platform for its future, and it isn’t Android”

This would be news to LG, which confirmed in a blog post that it will be producing an Android phone later this year. LG’s strategy seems pretty clear, as I posted yesterday: give people the option to buy pretty-much the same hardware with multiple operating systems, and see what the market decides.

Seriously, I know that it’s difficult to actually leave the hospitality room at conferences, but when a reporter writes a story like this I expect him to at least wander out and talk to someone on a booth about it. That way you’re actually giving information, rather than speculation.

UPDATE: And to add to the Android fun, Samsung has announced it will ship three phones based on the Google OS this year.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650207599 Mike Diamond

    Yeah it would be nice if they could at least check up on these stories. So far I like the G1 and I am interested to see what comes out next. There's this mental twitch some folks get when they don't see something come out the first day. Breathe for god's sake.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk ianbetteridge

    Yeah. Everyone gets it wrong, but if you're actually at the show – and I assume Zeman is – there's no excuse for not going to talk to someone before you post. And if they wont' talk to you, say so!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1259924820 Simon Prutton

    New technology always takes longer to proliferate than people think. My guess is there will be maybe a dozen new Android phones in 2009 but a huge wave will hit around this time next year for MWC 2010.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/billgraefe Bill Graefe Jr

    Thanks for the good news.

    Apple needs competition!!!! Otherwise, they will become the sloth that is Microsoft.

    May the handset duel be hard fought.

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