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NYT: Google's Android coming soon on HTC handset

HTC, T-Mobile, and Google are gearing up to release a phone based on the Android software over the next couple of months, according to The New York Times, echoing an earlier report.

Yet another report that Google's Android software is about to make its debut surfaced Friday.

The New York Times echoed a report earlier in the week from TmoNews in suggesting that the first phone to run the Android software will be announced by handset maker HTC on T-Mobile's network next month and could begin shipping in October. It's long been expected that T-Mobile and HTC would be among the first Android partners to actually ship a product, but the timing had been unclear.

Silicon Alley Insider says they've talked to someone who has actually played with the HTC Android phone, and who deems it "technically powerful but not as elegant as Apple's iPhone and OS X." That's not all that unexpected, really; Google's stated mission has always been to offer carriers and phone makers a basic set of software for getting phones onto the Internet, not a high-end integrated smartphone like the iPhone.

In any event, it will still be nice to actually have an Android handset out in the market, almost a year after Google confirmed its mobile phone project. Google will be competing against other operating system licensers such as Symbian and Microsoft for design wins around the world, and evaluating its chances against those entrenched players will get easier after reviewers get a chance to handle the merchandise.