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Monday, 24 August 2009 14:27

Android attacks the business phone market

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The Android cellphone platform is already making inroads into home communications devices and is now heading for the business multimedia phone, available as either a white label device or a software hardware platform that can be customised to create a range of products.

These emerging Android-based home and business communications products feature tight integration with Android based mobiles and if they achieve significant market penetration will add considerably to the momentum of Android in the handset market.

The latest development comes from San Francisco based software company, Cloud Telecomputers, which has produced a platform called Glass for creating Android-based media phones for business. The product has a 20 cm touch screen, HD audio and bluetooth allowing integration with mobile devices. It also support WiFi.

According to Cloud's web site "We license this platform - which includes next-generation hardware, software and cloud-based applications - to phone and PBX manufacturers and telecom service providers, so they can deliver devices and web services in a fraction of the time and cost required by in-house development. We focus on platform design, software and cloud applications, while customers concentrate on branding, channel development, customer acquisition and operational scale."

Cloud claims that "Glass's Android-based environment and open API enable each partner to establish a unique presence in the market, and third parties such as VARs and integrators can tailor application-based solutions to the needs of particular customers or verticals."

Device makers with manufacturing capability can license the Glass platform to produce their own, Android-based media VoIP phones. The API allows them to create software for devices sold under their brands, and third parties such as VARs and integrators can tailor application-based solutions to the needs of particular customers or verticals. Companies with established brands and channels, but no manufacturing capacity of their own, can purchase Glass-based phones directly from the manufacturer and resell them under their brand.

Cloud's move to take Android into the business phone market follows another San Francisco-based start-up, Touch Revolution, predicting that "a string of well-known companies" would introduce a variety of Android-powered household gadgets before the end of 2009." Touch produces touch screens bundled with a processor module that runs Android and which can be incorporated into a variety of devices.

Another company, MIPS Technologies - a provider of core processors for the home entertainment, communications, networking and portable multimedia markets - has ported the Android platform to the MIPS architecture and is making the source code publicly available. Also, last month, LG-Nortel announced what it claimed to be the world's first residential multimedia terminal based on the Android platform.

Earlier this year the Open Embedded Software Foundation (OESF) was formed was formed in Japan to take Android beyond mobile devices.

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