Google denies report of Android phone delay

Google denied that phones using its Android software have been delayed to 2009. The Street reported the delay, citing an unnamed source. But Google denied the report.

“We’re still on track to announce Android-powered phones this year. Some of our partners are publicly stating that they plan to ship Android phones in the fourth quarter,” Google said in a statement.

That’s little surprising, given that Android leader Andy Rubin said that phones using the soon-to-be-mostly-open-source software will be “available in the second half of this year”¬† at the Google I/O conference.

T-Mobile plans to ship an Android phone later in 2008, Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said in February. T-Mobile confirmed  that its Android-based phone is still on track to arrive in the fourth quarter.

One source of possible Android confusion could be that although Google and various partners are collectively writing the Android software, Google isn’t the only one supporting it.

Android software overseen by Google will appear in the first Android phones, but Android software overseen by partner Wind River Systems will appear in later models expected in the first quarter of 2009, said John Bruggeman, chief marketing officer of Linux seller and Android partner Wind River.

“They (Google) did the first phone. They carefully handheld it all the way through,” Bruggeman said. “We’ve got the rest.”

Wind River supports Linux in embedded computing devices but will support the full Android software “stack,” which extends to higher-level software as well.

“When Android is open-sourced, we will support the entire stack,” Bruggeman said. “We’ve ramped up our infrastructure. We are resourced to be able to support Android and not just Linux–the messaging and telephony and e-mail and browsing.”