It's been quite a big day for Android. Earlier today we got the spec list for the Rachael X3, plus the first images of the Motorola Morrison. Now it looks like we're getting yet another goody; this unnamed budget Android headset from HTC.
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Let's get this out of the way; no one has heard anything from HTC about this mobile. It's entirely possible these pictures are a fake, or a mock-up from someone else. That said, this mystery phone bares a lot of design characteristics in common with the G1 and G2. One noticeable exception is the lack of a trackball on this new phone. It looks like the ball has been replaced by a small circular touchpad.
This new mobile appears to lack a sliding keyboard and has a 2.8” screen. Right now all signs point to this being a budget smartphone with the Android OS, similar to the Motorola Morrison. If so, that's great news to Android fans the world over. The big benefit of Google's OS (from the standpoint of a manufacturer) is that it is open source, and thus available for free. That cuts down costs when making a smartphone, which makes Android absolutely ideal for budget/entry level smartphones.
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The mobile market is shifting. Normal 'dumb' phones are quickly becoming a thing of the past. I doubt we have more than four or five years to wait before every mobile on the U.S market qualifies as a 'smartphone'. Manufacturers realize this, and they're expanding their smartphone offerings to accommodate 'first time' smartphone buyers. Entry-level users will probably continue to buy phones with a familiar OS in the future. If users start with Android they're likely to continue using it, if only for simplicity's sake.