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Google: “We Remain On Schedule”

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Google now claims everything is on track with the release of its much-hyped Android mobile phone platform, just hours after a Wall Street Journal report indicated quite the contrary.

The Journal report suggests significant delays in Android’s launch that could result in many carriers not getting their models out until next year. Focus on a fourth quarter T-Mobile release, it says, is taking up such a large amount of Google’s resources that Sprint will be forced to miss its targeted 2008 launch. Google, however, maintains everything is going smoothly.

“We remain on schedule to deliver the first Android-based handset in the second half of 2008,” a spokesperson told me in the company’s first comment since the story broke. “We’re very excited to see the momentum continuing to build behind the Android platform among carriers, handset manufacturers, developers and consumers.”

Delay or not, Google has its hands full convincing the mobile industry to adopt its platform. Sprint, according to the Journal, wants to use its own branded data services and is even now looking at pulling away and developing its own original system. Other carriers, such as China Mobile, are said to be having issues bringing their branded services into the platform as well.

Only time will tell whether the mobile industry will open its arms to open source phone systems. In the meantime, it’s a game of wait and see — or, in the case of Apple, a game of getting its next-generation iPhone on store shelves first.

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