Live coverage of Google's Android Gphone mobile OS announcement

8:58AM PT - Ok, we're on the call, and there's soothing classical. We'll "be underway in a few minutes."

9:02AM PT - Ok, we're about to begin!

9:04AM PT - "Welcome everyone to the Google, Inc. conference call. Today's call is being recorded." Yeah, by us! Elliot Shraig (sp) from Google is on. "We have a number of companies here with an exiting announcement to make in the mobile space."

Sergey and Eric from Goog, Peter Chou from HTC, Zander from Moto, plenty of heavyweights. Eric Schmidt is kicking off -- Andy Rubin will join for the Q&A.

9:05AM PT - "Thanks everybody, for joining us. We're obviously very, very happy that this announcement is going out today. To give you some context, there are 3 billion mobile users worldwide... getting people access to information is very important. On Google's side we have a two part strategy... the part we want to talk about today is creating a whole new mobile experience for users, and we're going to do that with Android."

9:06AM PT - "Google along with 33 other companies are announcing Android, the first truly integrated mobile operating system. ... What's particularly notable is that it's available under a mobile open source license. It's incredibly important to say that this is NOT an announcement of the 'Gphone'... we hope there will be thousands of 'Gphones'..."

9:08AM PT - "... an unprecedented mobile platform... We couldn't do this alone. ... Users will have much better access to mobile experiences." Slow down, Eric!

9:10AM PT - Renee from Deutsche Telekom. "I'm delighted to announce T-Mobile is one of the founding members of the OHA. ... Our customers see real value in their offerings... we at T-Mobile strongly support and industry platform for wireless apps and services, and that brings us to T-Mobile's support for the OHA and Android. It can help us to create more value for customers..." T-Mobile will announce a device running Android in Europe and the US in 2008... "Details on how we plan to bring forth these services are not to be discussed on this call." Gee, thanks.

9:11AM PT - "We realize that with a platform like this there are virtually endless opportunities." Now he's rambling about synergy or some such bizspeak. Peter from HTC is up. "Thank you, good morning."
9:12AM PT - "On behalf of HTC I'm honored to be here today as a founding member of the OHA; I'd like to congratulate Eric, Andy, and the entire Google team on today's achievement... We firmly believe when it comes to mobility one size does not fit all... the law of mobile devices is giving quick and easy access to the technology users find most valuable." ... Ruh roh, Peter cut out there for a sec.

"We think this is a great opportunity for HTC to expand its portfolio. We plan to release the first Android phone in the 2nd half of 2008."

9:13AM PT - Next up, Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm: "Thanks, and good morning. Qualcomm is very pleased to be an active member of the OHA."

9:15AM PT - "We're particularly happy to be working with T-Mobile, an operator who's always driven the open internet model... as much as Qualcomm is known for pioneering CDMA technologies, it's also our business model that moved the wireless industry into an open, horizontal mode... Qualcomm's invested significant resources working on Android, working side by side working on both the mobile platform architecture and on" blah blah, now dude's just pimping his own products. Great, we all sooo care about Qualcomm chipsets, can you talk about friggin Android now?

9:16AM PT - "... we can now support services like video, location... if you look at the future of wireless, it's no longer about choosing a single radio technology, it's about apps and content..."

9:17AM PT - Ed ZANDR is up: "Good morning, like everyone else Motorola is pleased to be joining the OHA."

9:18AM PT - "I can remember back 20 years ago Eric and I talked about open software platforms... we at Motorola have long been an advocate of open platforms... we believe today's announcement is about more than any one vendor, it's about open platforms, open source, open brands, it's about creating devices organically connected to the internet and services."

9:19AM PT - "Consumers will see more innovative devices and services... we at Motorola have long been the leader in bringing open software products to market." Wait, what, Ed? "We at Motorola look forward to developing product with and for OHA members... in summary Motorola is proud to continue support of open platforms..." He's done fast.

9:20AM PT - Bill Wang, from China Mobile Research Institute: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen, first congratulations on the formation of the OHA. China Mobile is excited to work with Google... it will encourage faster adoption of smartphones in China. We are happy to see more attention being focused on mobile technology. We strongly believe and hear the vision of the Alliance."

9:21AM PT - "I wanted to thank Andy and Google for developing this platform..." Sergey Brin is up for closing words before Q&A. "Hello everyone." Ernie's on the line?

9:22AM PT - "Ten years ago I was sitting in a grad school cubicle, and we were able to build incredible things. There was a set of tools that enabled that... open source... Linux, GNU, python... all those pieces (and many more) allowed us to do great things and distribute it to the world. That's what we're looking at today. We're going to distribute the code, it's going to be freely available..."

"I'm really excited about this, I can't wait to see what the next generation of innovators is going to do with these tools." Q&A time. Andy's on the call now.

9:25AM PT - Q: "My question goes out to the handset manufacturers -- does your involvement in OHA mean you won't be participating in other mobile OSs?" Peter from HTC: "We actually look at this as a good opportunity to innovate... we believe this is more opportunity, we can do more... our commitment to other OSs is the same." Zander is babbling on about being committed to open source and open platforms again. "We do have some commitments with some of our carrier partners, but we've been working a lot on this kind of strategy."

9:27AM PT - Andy answering our pal Om's question: "All of this software will be available... within one week's time... handsets will be available in the second half of 2008."

9:28AM PT - WSJ: "Where does Google take it from here? How will Google's apps and services work with this platform? Will there be a prominent position for them on the handset?" Rubin: "One of the interesting things about Google's business is the flexibility and relevance... part of this Android solution is a very robust HTML web browser... contrary to a lot of the speculation out there, you won't see a completely ad-driven cellphone based on this platform."

9:29AM PT - Q: "This is not the Gphone -- will we see the Gphone, and what will it be?" Eric Schmidt: "We're not announcing anything, but this is THE (perfect) platform for building a Gphone. It starts a whole wave of innovation..."

9:30AM PT - Q: "Did you ask Nokia, MSFT, RIM, etc. to join the alliance?" (I.e. the other platforms...) Rubin: "We thought about this, we want anyone to join. This isn't a closed alliance, this is a fluid effort and remains open to people who want to join and contribute."

9:32AM PT - Q: "Is this platform for smartphones? Or driven into featurephones and lower end phones." Peter from HTC: "We're working on exciting devices, but the idea is to provide an optimized internet experience. As Andy said, there's a lot more we can do in the future." Paul from Qualcomm again plugs Qualcomm chipsets driving cheap smartphones. Psh

9:34AM PT - Eric: "The fundamental problem with most phones today is they don't have full-power browsers. We've been taking our mobile services and use specialized engineering to get them on other devices. No longer -- if you're using Android as your platform -- you won't have to shoehorn your app onto the platform..."

9:36AM PT - Again: "Does that mean there will be NO Google phone you can buy?" Sheesh people, get over it, Google's doing the platform! Eric: "Imagine not just one Gphone, but a thousand Gphones as a result of the partnerships... the many other people who will be joining the open initiative. We forgot to tell you that it's available next week, and the terms are the broadest in the industry." Again, a question about the Gphone. Again, Eric says: "We are not announcing a Google phone."

9:37AM PT - Q: "A little more detail on what the OS is, how it will relate to the existing Linux community?" Rubin: "Within a week we'll have further technical announcements to make. It is Linux-based."

9:38AM PT - Q: "Eric is on the board of Apple -- why did you do your own solution when on the board of Apple at the same time? Also, can I have the specs of a mobile phone that uses Android? Does it need a huge screen? A keyboard? What kind of device will be used?"

9:39AM PT - Eric: "It's true I'm on the board of Apple; I'm a very happy iPhone user. It's important to say that there will be many, many mobile experiences, and Android will be used on many other kinds of devices..." Rubin: "The second part: minimum reqs is about a 200MHz ARM9, software is compatible with small screens, large screens, QWERTY, non-QWERTY..." so apparently it's hardware flexible (dur).

9:40AM PT - Q: "I'm trying to understand the difference between this platform and WinMo and Symbian." Ummm, ok. GREAT question. "Will it fragment the mobile industry even more having developers develop for one more mobile platform?"

9:41AM PT - Rubin: "This one is open. In two ways: devs can put apps on top of it, and the whole OS is open source, so anyone can take it and modify it to their needs." Eric: "The industry has developed many proprietary technologies, but the best model to do volume is to be open, and the fact that Android is open software means that people who might even be competitors might be likely to both adopt it -- as long as it's good enough."

9:43AM PT - Q: "It sounds like it will ship with a certain set of capabilities, is there a minimum set of things that need to be shipped to be considered an Android powered phone?" Rubin: "There are no restrictions. ..." "Can carriers prevent users from adding in software / services they left out?" "That's not really a [Google] software question." (Was a little hard to track that one.)

9:45AM PT - Q: "Does this protect consumers in any way of installing software on their phones? Or can carriers create a completely locked down phone?" Rubin: "Please refer to the Apache software license... when you free something, it's up to the industry to do something with it." "So if the industry wants to create totally locked down devices, they CAN do it?" Rubin: "Yes." Eric: "While it's feasible, it's also highly unlikely you'll see that scenario."

9:46AM PT - Q: "The networks these devices will run over... how does this platform relate to the 700MHz auction?" Eric: "Two sep initiatives; Android will run very well on all existing data networks. We think the 700MHz network auctions are a matter of public policy and for public benefit, but Android will run well on it..."

9:49AM PT - Yeah, they're chatting about stuff quietly, hard to hear what's going on. Up the volume, guys!

9:50AM PT - Rubin on OS X: "As an open platform we're available for anyone to use, this isn't just one company's product."

9:52AM PT - Q: "Eric, I want to go back to the Gphone -- what's the deal?" Eric: "The deal is we don't pre-announce products... if there WERE to be a Gphone, it would run Android." "Can I ask a followup? To our readers asking what it means to me... what's it mean to the average consumer?" Eric: "This is fundamentally a developer platform announcement... the quick way of saying it, as a result of this platform you can do amazing things with mobile devices..."

9:54AM PT - Q: "What will the look and feel of an Android-enabled phone be like? How's this platform going to make it easier for people to get content on their phone?" Rubin: "It's an amazing UI -- it's interface is top-notch. BTW, the SDK is going to be available on an early-look, taking input from the community, interactively developing the interface and platform, Google will be providing some hosted services for 3rd party devs to distribute their apps or content. That will happen with direct connection like USB or memory card, or over the air..."

9:55AM PT - Final question: "Is there any coincidence of the timing with OpenSocial and this? How much overlap are you expecting with developers?" Eric: "Google announces products when they're ready; OpenSocial apps will run well on Android..."

"Thank you to everyone for joining this call... more info on OHA site. Thank you all again."