18 Android phones, possibly 20 on the market this year according to Andy Rubin, speaking at Google I/O. Even higher if you count all the rogue, Google App-free Android deployments that Google's not aware of. Seeing as how we're already nearly half-way through the year with just a pair of Android handsets on the market (the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic) and just another -- the Samsung i7500 Galaxy -- officially in the chute, we're going to see a flood of product before year's end. In fact, Rubin claims the releases will come from 8 or 9 manufacturers with faster adoption seen in Europe as US carriers try to "create highly distinctive versions of the Android phone to give themselves an edge." Sure, edge, if that's what you want to call the US cartel of hoops and handcuffs then go right ahead. Interestingly, Rubin also further clarified the three flavors of Android which break down as follows:
  • Google-free: Free to download version of Android without Google applications like Gmail or Google Calendar. Access to Android applications is at the whimsical fancy of the manufacturer.
  • Strings attached: Same as above but manufacturers sign a distribution agreement with Google and pre-install the Google applications. Of Rubin's possible 20 phones, 12 to 14 fall into this category
  • The Google Experience: Phones featuring the Google logo with all Google apps installed and includes unrestricted access (neither the carrier nor handset maker can block applications they find objectionable) to the Android market. 5 or 6 of the 20, Android phones mentioned by Rubin will deliver the full Google Experience as god and Sergey designed it.
Go ahead, blow it out Google, we're ready for it.