Google: Expect 18 Android phones this year

By year's end, there will be at least 18 phones on the market worldwide based on the Android operating system, Google disclosed today at the company's I/O conference.

According to The New York Times, Andy Rubin, senior director for Mobile Platforms for Google, said the number could be as high as 20.

Rubin declined to confirm which manufacturers will the phones and for which wireless carriers. Currently there are two Android phones available, T-Mobile's G1 and HTC's "Magic".

If the devices prove popular this coming year then the platform could seriously rival Apple's iPhone device which has been criticized heavily for it's closed policies and application approval processes. If Google is able to attract developers away from the iPhone and harness applications that aren't allowed on Apple's platform then the smartphone market could be a different landscape in a years time.

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