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Eee PC maker readies Android phone for 2009

Could be more successful than its Windows Mobile devices

Security for virtualized datacentres

Eee PC maker Asus will release a Google Android-based smartphone during the first six months of 2009.

So say unnamed company sources mentioned by DigiTimes, which suggests there's something in the claim.

It's also said that the phone could initially appear only in Asus' native territory, Taiwan. Later, it may be tweaked for what are called "overseas clients" - carriers, presumably.

Asus' old Eee girl

Asus Eee PC and friend: cuddling up to Android?

Asus already offers a range of Windows Mobile smartphones - we've reviewed the M930 here and the P750 here - but it has yet to win the carrier support that's essentially to take the company out of its unlocked-only niche into the wider mobile phone market.

Windows Mobile handsets are ten a penny, so the release of an Android-based device might be just the novelty Asus needs to stand out from the crowd. Its efforts to evangelise its Small, Cheap Computers to carriers will have raised its profile with European telcos.

Hands on: T-Mobile G1 Googlephone first look

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