LG to roll out Android phone by early 2009

A prototype of the Google Android mobile by NEC is on display at the Mobile World Congress (formerly 3GSM World Congress) in Barcelona, February 11, 2008. REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - LG Electronics plans to start selling a phone model running on Android, the highly anticipated mobile phone operating system, at the start of next year at the latest, a senior official said.

“We will bring it out late in 2008 or early 2009,” Chang Ma, LG’s vice president for marketing strategy told Reuters in an interview at the Mobile World Congress trade show.

LG is part of a group of about 30 companies that said they would support Google’s operating system, which is based on Linux, an open-source software platform.

Service provider Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and Taiwanese phone maker High Tech Computer have both said they plan to sell phones based on Android this year.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Sue Thomas