US wireless carrier T-Mobile plans to make a push into the home with communications devices that will run on Google's Android open-source software, The New York Times reported on Monday.
T-Mobile, which already sells a cellphone based on Android, the T-Mobile G1, plans to sell a home phone early next year and a mini-computer, the newspaper said, citing confidential documents obtained from an unnamed T-Mobile partner.
It said the phone will plug into a docking station and come with a device that handles data synchronization as it recharges the phone?s battery.
The small tablet computer would have a touchscreen but no external keyboard. It could handle basic computing jobs like checking the weather or managing data across devices in the home, the Times said.
A T-Mobile spokesman confirmed to the newspaper that the company had plans for several devices based on Android but declined to discuss specifics.
T-Mobile, the fourth-largest US wireless carrier after AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, began selling the G1, which is made by Taiwan's HTC, in August.
Google hopes the free Linux-based Android software powering the G1 will eventually become the dominant operating system for mobile phones.
Android competes with cellphone operating systems made by Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and other companies but its usage has been expanding to include computers and other devices.
Leading US computer maker Hewlett-Packard said last week it is studying the possibility of building machines based on Android operating systems.
News that T-Mobile and HP are exploring ways to put Android to work in computers indicates the operating system may be shaping up as a contender in a market long-dominated by Windows software made by Google's rival Microsoft.
Approximately nine of every 10 computers in the world run on Windows operating systems.
(c) 2009 AFP
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