Australian first: Kogan unveils Android-based mobile

Google's mobile platform hits Australia.

Kogan Agora Pro

Kogan Agora Pro

Melbourne company Kogan today announced Australia's first mobile phone to ship with Google's Android operating system. The phone is just the second in the world to have the Android OS preinstalled, after T-Mobile launched the G1 in the US in September.

Kogan's mobile phone will be released on January 29, 2009, but it is available to order from today on Kogan's Web site.

The phone comes in two flavours, the Agora and the Agora Pro, and will be available at $299 and $399, respectively. Both phones offer a 2.5in touch screen and a QWERTY keyboard, as well as 3G radio, Bluetooth 2.0 and a micro-SD slot. The Agora Pro also offers a 2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and integrated GPS.

Today's announcement follows a month of speculation regarding Kogan's entry into the mobile phone market and the company's plans to be first to local market with an Android phone. Kogan originally planned to release the phone before Christmas with a price tag of $199. The company's founder, Ruslan Kogan, told PC World Australia that the falling Australian dollar pushed the price up, and complications in research and development pushed the release date back until after Christmas.

Kogan said that the company makes good quality products comprised of parts from respectable manufacturers. He said that although Google's Android OS will allow Chinese companies to release cheap phones on the market, the amount of effort put into the Agora and the resulting quality will differentiate the company's phones from cheaper handsets.

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James Hutchinson

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