Will delays in Android developer kits lead to delays in Android phones?

androidMaybe it’s not as easy as Google thought to enter the mobile world.

Amid much fanfare last fall, Google announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance and Android, it’s open-source mobile operating system. At the time, Google also announced the $10 million Android Developer Challenge to jump start application development.

We were skeptical then, we’re skeptical now.

Google, which is currently involved in the hush-hush bidding for the FCC’s 700 MHz spectrum auction, is delaying an update to the initial SDK (released in November) that turned out to be “rough around the edges.” The delay — from March 3 to April 14 — is due to Google making “significant” changes, according to Quang Nguyen at the Android Developers Blog.

“Based on the great feedback you’ve given us, we’ve made significant updates to the SDK that we’ll be releasing in several weeks,” Nguyen wrote. “In order to give you extra time to take advantage of these forthcoming UI and API enhancements, we’ve decided to extend the submission deadline. In addition, a fair number of developers have also asked for more time to build and polish their applications.”

While this means nothing yet to the average cell phone user, there are plenty of folks anxious to see what kinds of official applications are being developed using Android, as well as what the real hardware will look like and how the devices will function. Will this delay hinder the arrival of Google-powered phones?

The Android delay also means that the Android SDK and the results of the Android Developer Challenge will come out about a month after Apple releases its much-anticipated iPhone SDK, due later this month. What interesting applications will iPhone developers be working on that will entice new users to the iPhone, rather than wait for a Google phone?

As mocoNews notes, “You’ve got to wonder if developers will set aside an iPhone project that they are working on to develop an application for an operating system that isn’t yet running on handsets.”

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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