Oh, Android delays, let us count the ways: T-Mobile will probably deliver an Android phone by the end of the year, but the WSJ says that working with T-Mo is sucking up so much Google juice that Sprint will have to wait until 2009 (and its Android phone might not play on EV-DO, but WiMax). AT&T is still holding off. China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, wanted one by fall, but it's looking more like 2009. Software developers are struggling to pump out programs and say that the iPhone is way easier to develop for. So, uh, what's going on in Googleland?
A lot of has to do with the fact that Android itself is still baking—it's hard to develop for an OS that isn't totally set and firm to the touch. So, even though Google has lotsa cool prototypes like one "a long touch-screen, similar to the Apple iPhone, a swivel-out full keyboard, and a trackball for navigation similar to the kind on some BlackBerrys," developers are having to constantly rewrite apps because the OS is in flux.
The Weather Channel admits it has already had to "rewrite a few things," and the latest version of Android is going to require some of the biggest revisions yet. The iPhone's SDK on the other hand, is ready to go, and many developers are already familiar with OS X. (And if developers are choosing one platform over the other, that's where Android's real trouble starts.) Topping it off, phonemakers like Samsung aren't having a jolly time integrating it either.
Sprint's woes are in part due to the fact it wants an Android phone with Sprint services, rather than a generic Google-y one. Because of the pushback, they might skip over a 3G Android phone and just do a WiMax one (though that doesn't make much sense to us—the EV-DO footprint is and will be way bigger than gimpy WiMax's, even in the first half of 2009, and that's being optimistic). Curiously, no word on the newly open Verizon's front, but given how messy Android is right now, even with all of its promise, we can't really blame AT&T for sitting it out for now. [WSJ]