BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 16:18 GMT
Google Android phones make debut
Google android screengrab
A number of firms are showing off Android-enabled phones

The first mobile phones to be loaded with Google's Android software for mobile phones have gone on show.

About a dozen companies such as ARM, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm showed off prototype handsets at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The free software system was launched in November 2007 and is being developed by an alliance of more than 30 companies including Google.

The first Android-enabled phone is expected to go on sale later this year.

One firm showing off a prototype phone was the UK processor designer ARM.

"It's really a demonstration vehicle rather than a full phone," Ian Drew of ARM told BBC News.

However, he said the wireless phone did show off several applications.

"What we are demonstrating on the Android platform is maps, browser, camera applications, multimedia, e-mail, and calendar - basically everything you'd expect on a mobile phone."

Open world

The Google Android platform is based on open source Linux software that allows developers access to the underlying code.

Android logo

This allows programmers much greater flexibility to build applications and features tailored to individual phones.

Other companies also showed off Android prototypes such as Marvell, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, NEC and ST Microelectronics.

Korean handset manufacturer Samsung has also said it hopes to have a phone based on Android by early next year.

Android was not the only Linux platform making waves in Barcelona.

The Mobile Linux foundation said that 18 phones from seven different firms would be demonstrated at 3GSM using its Limo software.

LG and Samsung were amongst handset manufacturers showing off Limo devices.



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific