Fourteen Android Phones in the US since the iPhone 3GS

On June 19, 2009, the iPhone 3GS went on sale. On that day, nearly 11 months ago, the Android platform was full of potential, but light on delivery. Only one Android phone was available on the US market – the T-Mobile G1. But on the one-year anniversary of the iPhone 3GS release, we’ll have seen fourteen Android phones hit the US market. The effect of this steady drumbeat of Android phone releases, averaging just over one per month, cannot be overstated. And next month’s announcement of the new iPhone 4 (or maybe “HD”), will do little to stop the Android platform’s momentum.

Here’s a detailed looked at the US phones released since the iPhone 3GS, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Released Carrier Manufacturer Name UI Screen OS OS Upgrade?
July 2009 T-Mobile HTC myTouch 3G Google Experience 3.2" 1.6 Rumored to 2.1
July 2009 Sprint Samsung Galaxy Google Experience 3.2" 1.5 Despite a petition, no.
October 2009 Sprint HTC Hero Sense 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by May 2010
October 2009 Sprint Samsung Moment Google Experience 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by May 2010
November 2009 T-Mobile Motorola CLIQ MotoBlur 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by June 2010
November 2009 Verizon HTC DROID Eris Sense 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by May 2010
November 2009 Verizon Motorola DROID Google Experience 3.7" 2.0 2.1 in April 2010
November 2009 T-Mobile Samsung Behold II TouchWiz 3.2" 1.5 None planned.
January 2010 T-Mobile Google/HTC Nexus One Google Experience 3.7" 2.1 --
March 2010 AT&T Motorola Backflip MotoBlur 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by Q3 2010
March 2010 AT&T Google/HTC Nexus One Google Experience 3.7" 2.1 --
March 2010 T-Mobile Motorola CLIQ XT MotoBlur 3.2" 1.5 2.1 by June 2010
March 2010 Verizon Motorola Devour MotoBlur 3.2" 1.5 Under evaluation
April 2010 Verizon HTC DROID Incredible Sense 3.7" 2.1 --
June 2010 T-Mobile HTC myTouch 3G Slide Sense 3.4" 2.1 --

Some observations:

  • Not double-counting the Nexus One on T-Mobile and AT&T, that makes for thirteen phones that have been released since the iPhone 3GS launch, and one, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, that has been given a June release date.
  • There’s an even mix of mid-level and high-end offerings.
  • AT&T has only released one Android phone, the Motorola Backflip, and it’s not very good. The AT&T Nexus One, sold exclusively by Google, isn’t even available subsidized with a contract.
  • The Motorola Devour is the only Verizon Android phone not using the DROID branding.
  • The vast majority of phones either shipped with or are scheduled to be upgraded to 2.1, but only the Verizon DROID has received the 2.1 upgrade as of today.
  • The 2.1 upgrade is important because a plurality of Android phones are still on 1.5. Those 1.5 phones are likely to be either a Sprint Hero or a DROID Eris, which will both see an upgrade in the coming days. When that happens, up to two-thirds of Android phones could be at 2.1.
  • It looks like the early adopters who got a T-Mobile G1 and those few souls who got the lesser Samsung models are SOL when it comes to Android 2.1.
  • The iPhone 3GS sports a 3.5” display. It might be argued that only the Android phones with larger (and higher resolution) displays truly compete with the iPhone 3GS. Most have a smaller 3.2” display.
  • The table above ignores all the international phones and other devices that have been released, as well as upcoming efforts like the Sprint EVO and Dell phones.
  • The Sprint EVO in particular has the potential to be an iPhone 4 killer, even before the iPhone 4 has been officially announced.
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