updated 10:00 am EST, Wed November 19, 2008
DoCoMo KTF Android Phone
Japanese cell carrier NTT DoCoMo and Korean carrier KTF are working together on an Android-based phone for 2009, the Nikkei Business Daily said in a report today. The two are allegedly hoping to undercut the prices of smartphones by about 20 percent by using the free mobile operating system on a jointly-developed device. Other features haven't yet been discussed for the handset, which would be either provider's first Android phone.
NTT DoCoMo says it hasn't yet committed to an Android phone for next year, but is one of the founding members of the Google-backed Open Handset Alliance collaborating on Android and so has already pledged its support. KTF isn't directly involved but is 10 percent owned by its purported Japanese partner and so has an incentive to work on team projects.
Smartphones are believed to be gradually catching up in popularity with Japan's advanced feature phones, which are more commonplace but have lost clout compared to the iPhone 3G and newer Windows Mobile devices.