By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm
Part of the big news from day one at Mobile World Congress was that there was no big news involving Google’s Android mobile operating system: None of the scads of phones that made their debut ran it. On day two…Android news! Maybe not earth-shattering Android news, but significant enough: HTC, the company that made the first Android phone, T-Mobile’s G1, launched its second one, the Magic.
The Magic looks like a slimmer, sexier cousin of the G1: The latter phone tucks a slide-out physical keyboard under its touchscreen, but the Magic is all-touch. Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo tried one today and was mostly impressed, although he had his issues with the Magic’s on-screen keyboard.
The Magic, like most new phones at Mobile World Congress, will arrive in Europe first, sometime this spring: Vodafone will sell it in the UK, Spain, Germany, and France, and it’ll also be available in Italy. No word on availability in the U.S., although you’d think T-Mobile might want to add it to the lineup.
The phone’s announcement eliminates the possibility of an Androidless Mobile World Congress, but I think the lack of much tangible advancement for the platform is still one of the show’s major stories. Multiple manufacturers have talked about unveiling Android handsets, but only HTC has managed to pull it off. The whole notion behind the OS is that it’s open and customizable and therefore well-suited to powering a variety of types of devices. We know what HTC thinks an Android phone should look like, and the Magic looks to be precisely what you’d guess a no-keyboard HTC Android model would be. I’m hoping we’ll hear from other quarters soon…