China Mobile (CHL) has joined a broad alliance of technology and wireless companies spearheaded by Google (GOOG) to announce the development of Android, the first open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices.

"China Mobile believes that an open and advanced mobile handset platform is the key to deliver the best mobile application and Internet experience and it will encourage faster adoption of smartphones in China. China Mobile is excited to participate in the Open Handset Alliance and to work with Google and other Alliance partners on a next-generation mobile handset platform," says Bill Huang, general manager of China Mobile Research Institute.

Google Inc., T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola and others have collaborated on the development of Android through the Open Handset Alliance, a multinational alliance of technology and mobile industry leaders.

This alliance shares a common goal of fostering innovation on mobile devices and giving consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today's mobile platforms. By providing developers a new level of openness that enables them to work more collaboratively, Android will accelerate the pace at which new and compelling mobile services are made available to consumers. Through Android, developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers will be better positioned to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost. The end result will be an unprecedented mobile platform that will enable wireless operators and manufacturers to give their customers better, more personal and more flexible mobile experiences.

Thirty-four companies have formed the Open Handset Alliance, which aims to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. The Android platform is the first step in this direction — a fully integrated mobile "software stack" that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications. Consumers should expect the first phones based on Android to be available in the second half of 2008.

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