Motorola Expanding Android Team Sevenfold

By  |  Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Erick Schonfeld over at TechCrunch is reporting that Motorola is set to expand its team working on Android from 50 to 350, indicating the company may be about get really serious about devices operating on the platform.  Word of the expansion comes from a Android developer who apparently has been targeted by the company.

And it doesn’t end with Motorola. Erick’s source also says that Nokia and Verizon made an appearance last week at a conference that was intended for developers who had not seen the G1. While Motorola isn’t a big surprise — it already is a part of the Open Handset Alliance — neither Nokia nor Verizon are officially affiliated with the organization.

It’s not clear when Motorola plans to release its own Android powered devices, although such a ramp-up seems to indicate any announcement may not be too far off. But the fact that Nokia is also showing possible interest may mean the iPhone could face some serious competition very soon.

Then again, Nokia controls Symbian, which has a commanding lead of the market already. Some 65 percent of all smart phones run the OS, nearly six times that of the second place Windows Mobile (11.5 percent). All of this just could be some good old oppo research.

Having Nokia developers familiar with Android does not hurt, however. If the OS suddenly takes off, the company would not be caught off-guard and could release its own phone.

Add this to the news that pre-sale allotments of the G1 are apparently close to being sold out, and the folks at the Googleplex in Mountain View must be smiling ear-to-ear right now.

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