Deutsche Telekom's (NYSE: DT ) T-Mobile wants another run at Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone. This time Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) wants to join the robot party, too. Good luck with that.
I don't mean to be snarky. Well, OK, yes, I do. Android hasn't dampened enthusiasm for rival smartphones. Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) gobbled more smartphone market share than Apple did last quarter, and Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) set a new opening weekend sales record for Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) handsets.
Yet just when it seems as though the iPhone is vulnerable, Apple sells 1 million 3Gs handsets during its first weekend on sale.
Can you hear me now?
T-Mobile plans on releasing at least two Android handsets this year. The first, called myTouch, is a fully functional handset designed by Taiwan's HTC and is expected to hit stores in August. Like the iPhone, the myTouch will come with a touchscreen keyboard but stand apart from its rival with a wide array of customization features. For example, users will be able to rearrange menus, wallpapers, and icons, Computerworld reports.
We know less about Motorola's entry. One possible advantage: tie-ups with both T-Mobile and Verizon's (NYSE: VZ ) wireless group, which is also pursuing the Pre. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Motorola plans to have an Android handset ready for both networks before the end of the year.
Neither offering looks like an iPhone killer. That's no slight; it's just that RIM has tried and failed. So have others. Palm's Pre is as close to a breakthrough device as we've seen since the iPhone launched, and still consumers and businesses are buying the new iPhone.
Maybe there is no killing the iPhone. Maybe it really is the Next Big Thing. And maybe the truth is that, for as much hype as there is surrounding Android as a smartphone operating system, its best hope is as a netbook OS.
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