The Android platform's usual manufacturing suspects -- including Motorola, Samsung and LG -- have a new competitor this week in the form of Alcatel-Lucent's new OT-980 Android phone.
Announced at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, the smartphone differs from other Android handsets on the market in that it fits into Alcatel-Lucent's marketing strategy of inexpensive phones. The handset is likely to be offered at a price point even lower than HTC's Tattoo, currently the most popular low-priced Android handset.
Alcatel-Lucent, which markets its handsets under the Alcatel brand, has previously staked out territory in the low to medium price range. The OT-980 has specs, however, that make it look like a higher end smartphone. The OT-980 is Alcatel's first Android and the first Alcatel handset that offers advanced smartphone features.
The touchscreen handset has a sliding qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi, GPS, a microSD memory slot and the ability to connect to popular Google apps such as YouTube, Google Talk, Gmail and Google Search. The handset has a 2 megapixel digital camera.
Alcatel, which has been better known for providing networking infrastructure, said it plans to launch as many as 15 handsets this year. Most are expected to be available for less than $150 unsubsidized. The device is scheduled to be marketed initially in Europe.
In another development this week, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a cloud-based developer platform. The platform is designed to attract the company's partners and third party developers to use the platform to distribute their applications across a variety of networks including TV, broadband, and mobile deployments.
"The research we've done with more than 1,000 developers shows that the bundled approach to aggregation could drive up an application programming interface's value by 200-300% versus its value on its own," said Johnson Agogbua, the firm's head of application enablement solutions, in a statement. The platform model aggregates APIs and Web services that developers can utilize in creating applications.