Android phone could come in November

The FCC has approved a new phone from HTC that some think could be the first phone to run Google's Linux-based Android software.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission released documents on Monday that may indicate that the first Android phone will hit the U.S. market in November.

The documents show that the FCC has approved the sale of HTC's Dream phone, a device widely rumored to become the first to run Google's Linux-based Android software.

HTC asked the FCC to keep some of the details of its filings, including photographs and the user manual, confidential until Nov.10. That may mean that the phone will come out around that date.

Neither HTC nor Google has confirmed that the phone will run Android and the available FCC documents do not reveal the software that will be included on the handset. But blogs have been abuzz for months with rumors that the Dream will run Android, complete with videos and photos purporting to be of the device.

The available FCC documents include information about how the Dream fared in technical tests measuring radio frequency emissions and reveal only minor details that might be of interest to hopeful users. The phone will include Wi-Fi, a camera and Bluetooth and run on third generation wireless networks. It will also have a "jog ball," a small trackball-like device for navigating and selecting phone features.

The filings also refer to a "slider," which could indicate that the phone will have a keyboard that slides out, a common feature on HTC smartphones.

Mobile enthusiasts eagerly await the first Android phone, in part out of curiosity over how the phone will compare to Apple's iPhone, first released over a year ago. Apple and Google are rare new entrants in the mobile phone market, long dominated by companies like Nokia that have been making phones and phone software for many years.

Despite rumors of delays with Android, Google says the software is on track and that the first phones running it should appear this year.

Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile are members of an Android industry group and some industry observers expect T-Mobile to be the first operator to offer Android phones. Both carriers currently sell HTC phones.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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