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Motorola's First Android Phone to Hit U.S. in Mid-2009

By Jason Ankeny

New details continue to emerge on Motorola's forthcoming social networking device powered by Google's Android mobile operating system. reports the Motorola device will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out Qwerty keyboard and a variety of social networking-themed features promising users more direct and efficient access to services like Facebook and MySpace.

Citing sources familiar with Motorola's plans, the report notes that the device maker is already showing spec sheets and images of the handset to its worldwide operator partners, but likely won't introduce the Android phone in the U.S. until the second quarter of 2009. adds the Motorola device resembles T-Mobile USA's forthcoming G1, the HTC-produced, Android-based handset scheduled to hit retail later this week--however, Motorola's phone will sell for about $150 with a two-year contract, a price comparable to its new Krave. Motorola declined to elaborate on its efforts, releasing a statement noting "We're excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google."

Motorola is a founding member of the Google-backed Open Handset Alliance, and in late September reports surfaced the firm is seeking to expand its Android development team from 50 members to 350. Citing an Android developer approached by a headhunter to join the Motorola team, TechCrunch reported Motorola is making a significant financial bet on Android in an effort to reverse its sagging fortunes in the handset market; critics have long singled out software as the culprit behind the company's economic woes. [FierceMobileContent]

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