Aussie entrepreneur beats telco giants to develop Google phone

A small Melbourne-based electronics company will be the first in Australia to develop a mobile phone based on Google Android software, beating major carriers and phone makers to the punch.

A small Melbourne-based electronics company will be the first in Australia to develop a mobile phone based on Google Android software, beating major carriers and phone makers to the punch.

Kogan Technologies – run by 25-year-old Ruslan Kogan – sells electronic goods direct from manufacturers, which reduces the company’s overheads. It has announced plans to develop a phone using Google’s new Android software, an open-source operating system for mobile phones.

“I’ve been following the development of Android for about a year now. I’ve always had the concept in my mind of open source software for mobile phones, just never had the capacity to undertake it. When they announced Android, I got very excited,” Kogan says.

German telco giant T-Mobile and Taiwanese technology company HTC released the first phone using the Android system in September. Since then, Asus and Motorola have also announced plans to release a phone powered by Android.

But Kogan is the first company to introduce an Android phone into Australia.

Kogan says one of the best things about Google’s Android is that it is open source and “there are more people this very second working and improving the code than Apple has on their payroll.” He argues the open-source community will help improve the software faster than products from software giants such as Microsoft.

While the first Android phone – the G1 – has yet to be released in Australia, it is available for around $1000 on eBay. But Kogan promises his group’s phone will be cheaper.

“A lot cheaper. We’re looking at this stage for under $200.”

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