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Google's Android Phone Not Ready for Santa

NEW YORK, (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) might be late to the Android party.

Google's plan to have its own Android phone available for the holidays, as first reported by TheStreet last month, might get pushed to early next year, according to tech blogger Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.

If true, the news will be eagerly greeted by other Android players like Motorola (MOT), Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S) and Deutsche Telekom's (DT) T-Mobile. Each of those shops have new Android phones in the market like the Droid , and subsequently have big reasons to fear that a cheap, unlocked Google-designed phone would spoil the Christmas festivities.

"It would make sense, if they don't have anything in the market by Thanksgiving, that they aren't going to have it available for the holidays," says Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, whose sources at Google's design manufacturer partners first tipped him off to the Google-branded phone.

As we reported in October, Google is working with manufacturers to create a Google-branded phone that runs on the Android operating system. Google is also working with contract manufacturers to produce a netbook computer to run on the Chrome software. The phones and the netbooks are expected to run on Qualcomm (QCOM) chips.

The hardware move would advance Google's pledge to provide consumers with mobile Internet devices that have user-determined features. The notion of a Google phone being sold through retailers is a bit disruptive to the industry's status quo. Typically, telco partners subsidize the customer's cost of the phones and restrict the types of features offered, like calls over the Internet.

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