Samsung Plans First Android Phone for Europe

Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday that its first phone based on Google Inc.'s Android operating system would be available in major European countries in June.

The company said its 17500 phone has touchscreen controls and runs on networks based on HSDPA, a high-speed wireless technology popular in Europe.

Samsung did not reveal specific plans for selling the phone in the United States, where smaller rival Motorola Inc is developing its own range of phones based on Android for release later this year.

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Android integrates features such as Gmail and Google Maps in the phone and includes a virtual store for software applications, competing with the App Store that helped sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

South Korea's Samsung follows Taiwan's HTC Corp, the first to launch a phone based on the Android system last year.

HTC has an exclusive agreement to sell its next-generation Android phone via Vodafone Group Plc in four countries this spring.

Samsung said its Android phone will also have a five-megapixel camera and memory capacity of up to 40 gigabytes, including external memory, as well as Wi-Fi.

It did not reveal pricing for the device.