Contrary to earlier reports that HTC would ship its first Android mobile phone by the end of the year, an analyst at Global Equities Research reports that his contacts indicate that it will be delayed until the first quarter of 2009.
The delays appeared to be tied to two major reasons. First, HTC is having “having structural problems to incorporate Google’s demanded feature set”. It sounds to me like the marriage of hardware and software is still a work in progress. The second reason is that HTC is asking for a guaranteed minimum revenue surety from Google. This would force Google to pay HTC a certain amount if sales don’t meet certain targets.
The same report indicates that Google may be having trouble attracting developers to its platform. Most are focused on developing software for the Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry and Symbian platforms and lack the bandwidth to take on another platform. It’s the old chicken-and-the-egg scenario. Applications will attract new users but developers are less likely to develop applications for a system for which there are few users.
According to CNET, Google has denied the story and reports that everything remains on schedule.