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Vodafone and HTC Team Up on New Google Phone

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Five months after T-Mobile introduced the first phone powered by Google’s Android operating system, cellphone giant Vodafone is unveiling the second. Like its predecessor, the new device is made by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC. It is called the HTC Magic and has a touchscreen, but not the slide-out keyboard that the T-Mobile G1 has.

Starting this spring, the HTC Magic will be available exclusively to Vodafone customers in Great Britain, Germany, Spain and France and non-exclusively in Italy. Pricing was not disclosed. HTC executives, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, said they were working on making the device available in the United States.

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The T-Mobile G1 received generally good reviews, but its appeal was limited by its exclusive availability on T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the United States. The size of Vodafone, the largest mobile carrier in the world by revenue, should help Android gain broad distribution in Europe.

Google, however, is not pinning hopes for Android’s success on any one phone, but rather on a multitude of phones from different manufacturers. Several others are expected to unveil Android based phones in 2009.

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