The first phones installed with Google’s Android mobile OS were always supposed to go on the market during the second half of the year, and they will — but just barely. The first Android phone, from T-Mobile, won’t come out until the fourth quarter. But Sprint Nextel (S), which had hoped to release a phone this year, won’t get it done, and China Mobile may not as well, the WSJ reports.
Last month, at Google’s (GOOG) developer conference we saw what looked like a pretty complete demo of Android. So what’s the hold up?
The WSJ says some of the problems are specific to the carriers — Sprint, for instance, has a new management team. But it’s complicated by the fact that Google keeps tinkering with Android, which means that developers working on Android apps have to keep tinkering, too.
In the long run, this isn’t terrible news for Google, which doesn’t need Android and/or mobile to contribute significant revenue anytime soon. But it’s yet another problem for Sprint, which could have really used a good iPhone competitor this December — we don’t think Samsung’s Instinct is going to cut it.