Canadians to get Android phones in June

Rogers Wireless will begin selling HTC's Dream and Magic phones in June, both of which are powered by Google's mobile operating system, but it won't yet say how much they'll cost.

Rogers Wireless plans to release two Android phones, starting June 2.
Rogers Wireless plans to release two Android phones, starting June 2. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Updated at 7:21 a.m. PDT with comment from Rogers.

Dominant Canadian carrier Rogers Wireless announced plans to release two phones in June built by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC and powered by Google's Android open-source operating system.

The HTC Dream, sold in the United States as the T-Mobile G1, was the first Android phone to go on sale last year, but now the newer HTC Magic , which lacks the G1's flip-out keyboard and uses a touch-screen software keyboard instead, has begun arriving in parts of the world . Rogers will sell both in June, the company said Thursday.

The HTC Magic phone, in this case sold through Vodafone, is coming to Canada via Rogers Wireless.
The HTC Magic phone, in this case sold through Vodafone, is coming to Canada via Rogers Wireless. Vodafone

"Both devices offer outstanding wireless Internet search capabilities and a full suite of applications that run two times faster on Canada's fastest mobile network," John Boynton, Rogers Wireless' chief marketing officer, boasted in a statement Thursday.

The Rogers Wireless Android phone Web site said the debut date is June 2, but the company offered no information about prices or subscription plans.

"Regarding pricing, it will be released soon, but in the meantime, I can confirm that customers who activate or upgrade to a HTC Dream or HTC Magic smartphone will be able to take advantage of Rogers Wireless' in-market pricing," spokeswoman Elizabeth Hamilton said. "And I can also confirm that customers can choose from contract or no-contract pricing."

Rogers' 3.5G network reaches 75 percent of Canada's population, she added.

Google has high hopes that Android will hasten the arrival of smartphones with sophisticated Internet-browsing abilities. Mobile advertising, linked in part to use of its search engine, is a key area of growth for the Internet giant, but the company also wants to encourage mobile use of other services, such as Google Maps and Gmail.

The Android world is just now being upgraded to Android 1.5 , aka Cupcake, which features video-recording and YouTube-uploading abilities, a software-based keyboard, faster GPS technology, stereo Bluetooth, a faster Web browser, and other changes.

However, Google and other Android partners are facing a trademark infringement lawsuit from Android Data, which obtained the Android trademark in 2002, according to Forbes and other media reports. Erich Specht, who runs the small Palatine, Ill.-based company, is seeking $94 million in damages relating to the case.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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