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First Android handset on show

The first mobile phones running Google’s Android mobile operating system are currently on show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The open-source Android platform was announced last year with the aim of making mobile internet a better experience for users.

The Android technology on display is still early prototype models. The first handsets are expected to become available in late 2008.

‘Very promising’

"It's definitely very promising," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, who had a look at the Android platform earlier today, told the AFP news agency. She added that "the road between a prototype and commercial handset is a long one."

The demonstrations at Mobile World Congress brought together a long line of chipmakers, including ARM, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, NEC and ST Microelectronics. These firms are all part of the Google-lead Open Handset Alliance.

"What is happening with Android today is that we are seeing a number of technology companies demonstrating how Android will operate on their technology," Google spokesman Barry Schnitt told AFP.

More prototype handsets are expected to be showed off during the course of the show this week.