The mobile world converges on Barcelona this week, but Google’s (GOOG) Android mobile software is on the sidelines so far.
So far, we’ve seen plenty of attention around Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile and Nokia’s (NOK) Symbian. But beyond a leaked set of photos of a supposed Google-powered phone for Vodafone (VOD), we haven’t heard much about Android.
Mobile World Congress 2009 was thought to be the real coming out party for Google’s Android mobile platform. So far, it’s a bust.
Nokia’s new phones don’t run Android. HTC also failed to announce any new Android gear. Instead it focused on announcing two new Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.
Samsung said that it will announce an Android phone sometime “this year.” It didn’t announce anything at this show.
LG has already picked a a smartphone platform for its future, and it isn’t Android.
Huawei said it will launch two or three Android phones later this year, but didn’t say when those launches would be, nor did it share any specifics about the handsets themselves.
There are still several large press conferences to go today, but given some of the embargoed news I’ve received, I am not aware of any Android phones being announced.
Does Google need one trade show to make its operating system a success? Of course not. Apple (AAPL) isn’t anywhere near the Mobile World Congress, and last we checked, the iPhone is still the phone that everyone in the mobile industry wishes they had.
But Google does need some juice. Beyond Motorola (MOT), which is betting a big chunk of its future on Android, we don’t see much loud, confident enthusiasm for it from gadget makers.
It’s possible that phone makers like Sony Ericsson and HTC are busy cooking up really awesome Android phones that they want to save for Christmas. Maybe Dell (DELL) will pop out of the woodwork in the next few months with an Android phone lineup. But this week — so far, at least — it’s mostly crickets chirping on the Android front.