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Android springs to life next week

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T-Mobile has been sending out press invitations to the launch of its Android-powered handset, confirming that all will be revealed on Tuesday next week.

The handset was glimpsed last Tuesday, at a Google Developer Day in London where it emerged from the pocket of Google's Mike Jennings, and unsurprisingly bears a remarkable resemblance to HTC's Dream handset - according to PC World magazine.

Although we'll be able to get the full specifications on Tuesday it's unlikely that T-Mobile will be selling handsets until October, when the Wall Street Journal reckons HTC plans to shift between 600,000 and 700,000, though most analysts are hedging their bets at around half a million.

Quite what is going to drive half a million people to pick up an Android is unclear. Google's platform should allow developers to create some interesting applications, but the ability to add apps has never been a killer feature for mobiles in the past outside of the enterprise.

Mobile phones are usually sold because they look cool - the RAZR - have cool applications pre-installed - Blackberry - or a happy combination of the two - the iPhone. While we won't know what third-party applications are going to transform Android into a must-have platform, we will know what Google, HTC and T-Mobile are going to bundle with the handset and that could make-or-break the platform. ®

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