Australia’s first Google phone delayed

The release of the first Google Android phone in Australia has been pushed back, and the price bumped up from $199 to $299.

The release of the first Google Android phone in Australia has been pushed back, and the price bumped up from $199 to $299.

The phone, which is being developed by online electronics retailer Kogan Technologies, was originally set for release this year, but will be delayed until 29 January. But the phone, based on the Google’s open-source mobile phone operating software Android, will now come in two versions.

The two models – dubbed Kogan Agora and Kogan Agora Pro – will be released to run on 3G networks. Kogan Technologies owner Ruslan Kogan says the phones will still be less than half the price of competing models.

Google phones have not been released in Australia, but can be bought on eBay for around $1000.

Kogan Tech sells products assembled with parts from different manufacturers, decreasing costs. But Kogan says this was a problem for the Google phone.

“The research and development effort involved was much more than we anticipated. The problem we ran into was, if you look at mobile components currently in the market, every single one has drivers written for Windows mobile software,” he says.

“The problem with Android is because the software was only released to the public a couple of months ago, not every manufacturer has released drivers. What it has involved us doing is writing a lot of software to make sure all the components are compatible.”

Kogan also says the dollar’s decline is the sole reason behind the price increase, but is confident the phone – which boasts GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity – will sell well.

“Research and development efforts is one thing, but the Australian dollar dropping 40% within the space of a few months is another. But I’m more than confident the price point we’ve pitched it at will shatter the competition.”

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