Asus to Launch Android Phone in H1 2009

Just two weeks after the release of HTC’s Android-based G1, rumors say Asus will be the next vendor to bring out a handset running Google’s newly released mobile operating system.

Following the word on the HTC’s G1 on the grapevine said Motorola would be the next Android handset. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks it emerged that while Motorola was indeed developing its own social networking smartphone, it wouldn’t hit shelves until the second half of 2009. While many saw this as a disadvantage for the struggling handset manufacturer, it also brought about the question of which company would be the second to offer an Android phone.

According to a report in DigiTimes, company sources say Asus plans to launch its first Android-based Google phone in the first half of 2009. Market sources say Asustek may initially sell the Google handsets under its own brand in the Taiwan market before also launching customized models for overseas clients.

The news follows comments from Asus CEO Jerry Shen about the possibility of an Eee Phone, in line with the company’s line of ultra portable netbooks. Shen said the company would be announcing several new products at CES 2009 in January and dropped hints about an Asus mobile phone incorporating the Eee brand ideas.

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