BARCELONA, Spain -- Without a doubt, the most disappointing feature of the 2009 Mobile World Congress was the near total lack of handsets running Google's ( GOOG) Android operating system.The industry rumor mill had been touting all sorts of possible new goodies being introduced at the show that would challenge Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone. For the most part all of those guesses were just that. There were a grand total of two new Android-based designs here at the show. One, from Chinese company Huawei and the other was the subject of a somewhat more subdued introduction of a phone from the U.K.'s Vodafone ( VOD).
Luckily, Vodafone was a little friendlier about its new phone. I guess that was because it was working. Vodafone on Tuesday announced the world's second Android phone, the Magic. This new phone, just like T-Mobile's G-1 model, is made by HTC. But, unlike the G-1, this device does not have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It is a 100% touch-screen device. There's a 3.2-inch (diagonal) screen plus all the stuff you might expect to be inside an Android phone: Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Mail, YouTube, etc.) along with GPS, a trackball pointing device and a 3.2 megapixel camera. Vodafone will sell the phone in the U.K. beginning in April. I wouldn't be surprised if a similar device -- maybe named the G-2? -- will be announced shortly by T-Mobile for sale in the U.S. Finally, Kogan, the Australian company that was rumored to be announcing an Android phone here at the show has decided to delay the release of their "Gphone" until some undetermined future date.