HTC to hold an event to launch Hero on June 24

The Android-powered smartphone market is set to get much more crowded over the coming months. Google expects at least 18 new Android handsets to hit the market this year along and the number could go as high as 20 new handsets. When Google made that announcement, it was mum on the manufacturers bringing the devices to market. It looks as one of them is HTC. DigiTimes reports that HTC will be holding an event on June 24 to launch the new HTC Hero smartphone powered by Android.

RMI unveils complete Android cupcake mobile reference design

Computex is in full swing this week in Taipei, Taiwan and RMI Corporation has unveiled a new Android reference design at the show. The reference design is a complete Android cupcake version 1.5 design for mobile connected devices. The Android solution being offered by RMI uses the firms Alchemy Processor family and is a complete turnkey solution built in partnership with Embedded Alley. Embedded Alley is a provider of Linux and Android solutions.

General Mobile DSTL1 spotted at Computex

It's not all announcements regarding long-off devices at Computex 2009: General Mobile have brought along a working prototype of their DSTL1 Android smartphone.  Snapped by, the DSTL1 has a 5-megapixel camera, 3-inch touchscreen and 4GB of onboard storage. Under the particularly glossy hood there's a 624MHz processor that, last we heard, was a Marvell PXA 310 chip.  No word on whether General Mobile have left the rather disappointing GSM/EDGE only connectivity (there's WiFi b/g but no 3G) but the dual SIM slots are still there. General Mobile are yet to give a solid release date, and there's no telling whether the DSTL1 will even make it to Europe and the US.  Their original estimate suggested a Q3 2009 launch, with no indication of pricing. [gallery] [via]

Garmin-ASUS Android phone arriving by March 2010

Garmin-ASUS have announced that they will be releasing an Android-based smartphone "no later than" Q1 2010.  Executives declined to comment on possible pricing for the handset, but suggested that it would include GPS for geotagging photos and offering other location-based services. Garmin were first tipped to release an Android handset last year, with the expectation being that the phone would arrive on the market sometime in 2009.  While that is still possible in this new, official timescale, it seems more likely that the device will launch early in 2010. While we're all for more Android devices and more manufacturers publicly pledging their intentions, color us a little skeptical about Garmin-ASUS.  The duo's original nuvifone is shaping up for a full year's delay, and we'd really rather they concentrated on getting something out of the door rather than announcing new products.

ECS T800 netbook rocks Android OS at Computex [Video]

Acer's netbook announcement earlier is all of a sudden terribly less important to us, having seen ECS' Android netbook offering.  The T800 is another new Computex 2009 showing, boasting a Sony VAIO P-style form-factor with an 8.1-inch widescreen LCD display and a choice of 800MHz or 1GHz TI OMAP3 processors. Inside the 246 x 121 x 20 mm casing lurks a 2.5-inch drive bay suitable for SSD or HDD storage, plus two Mini-PCIe card slots that ECS suggest you could employ for dual HSPA and WiMAX connectivity.  There are two USB 2.0 ports and a headphone jack. A choice of 0.3- or 1.3-megapixel webcams and 512MB of RAM round out the main specs.  Best of all is the price: ECS are saying it'll drop in the second half of 2009, priced under $500. [youtube][/youtube] [via SlashGear]

Acer confirm Android netbook in Q3

Acer has confirmed that it will be the first company to ship Android-based netbooks, with the budget ultraportables expected to hit the market in Q3 2009.  The Android netbooks will go on sale alongside Acer's Windows-based range, rather than replacing it, and be based on Intel's Atom processor.  According to Acer's global president for IT products, Jim Wong, "today's netbooks are not close to perfection at all" and that "if we do not continue to change our mobile internet devices, consumers may not choose them any more."  However there's still work to be done fettling Android in its netbook guise: "we'll still have to see what kind of applications the Android software can run on and how stable it will be" commented Vincent Chen, an analyst at Yuanta Securities. No specific release dates have been shared, beyond the Q3 window, and Wong declined to comment on possible pricing.  Analysts have previously estimated that a Windows XP license adds $25 to the cost of the average netbook; Microsoft have justified that by claiming buyers are looking for a similar mobile environment as they are used to on their desktops.  Earlier this year, Compal - the OEM behind Acer's Aspire One netbooks - were tipped to be developing an Android netbook.

HTC Hero ROM gets video demo on G1

Master ROM-fondler Haykuro has done it again, and delivered a video of the HTC Hero Android build running on a G1.  Over six minutes long, the video shows more of the new homescreen, together with a changed QWERTY on-screen keyboard and a new Twitter app. The ROM seems to use a combination of standard Android code and HTC's own amendments.  We saw screenshots of some of these last month, including the new PMP, browser and other TouchFLO 3D-inspired tweaks. The Hero itself is tipped to launch midway through 2009, so we could be looking at a fairly imminent release in Europe at least.  Check out the recently-leaked video promo for the phone here. [youtube][/youtube] [via Android Central]

Android based Qualcomm Snapdragon Smartbooks [Video]

Computex 2009 is taking place this week, and Qualcomm have kicked things off with a netbook running Android.  Actually, this is a Smartbook, not a netbook, and rather than using the typical Atom processor it's based on Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon chipset. That means the Smartbook - which is thinner than the ASUS Eee PC 1008HA - can be fanless and offer super-long runtimes and standby, despite supporting 720p video playback.  Various prototypes of Smartbook designs were shown; you can see more here. According to Qualcomm, the first Smartbooks - which can also use a new 1.3GHz chipset, and an existing 1.5GHz dual-core version - will hit the shelves by the end of 2009.  No word on whether Android will be among the OSes offered, but given its native support for 3G WWAN, GPS and other wireless connectivity, and the fact that Qualcomm's chipsets offer all of those, it seems a likely choice for at least some manufacturers. jkkmobile video demo: [youtube][/youtube] TweakTown video demo:
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