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Grey marketers have started selling the HTC Google Android phones in Australia. The units which are fully imported from overseas are not supported in Australia.


Yesterday Melbourne-based KoganTechnologies revealed their version of a phone running the open source Google Android operating system however a search of small phone retailers in Sydney’s Broadway reveals that at least three retailers were already selling Google Android based phones sourced from China.

Kogan’s phones are to be sold outright  with no contract  via the Internet and according to Kogan will work on any Australian network, once users acquire a SIM card.

But price of the phones, ordered from generic Chinese manufacturers, has jumped 50 percent since Kogan first announced them several months ago, while delivery once promised before Christmas has been delayed to the end of January.

By that time Taiwanese maker HTC may be openly marketing its G1 Android phones, in this country: an executive hinted at an early 2009 release at a Sydney briefing for the HTC Touch 3G last month (CDN, Nov. 19).

The Kogan Agora ($299, pictured) will feature a qwerty keyboard, central navigation key, 2.5-inch touchscreen, microSD slot, and 3G connectivity, Melbourne importer/promoter Ruslan Kogan said yesterday. He did not explain why the price had risen from the earlier announced $199.

 

He also promised a more feature-laden model, the $399 Kogan Agora Pro, which he said will sport a 2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS.

Kogan also imports and markets a wide range of goods from China, including electronic picture frames, TVs and a Blu-ray player, all sold directly online.

The open-source Android platform has been off to a slow start in the US, compared with Apple’s hot-selling iPhone, but is expected to gather strength next year as an apps store comes online.

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