LG Electronics has unveiled its first smartphone to run using the Google Android platform.

The launch of the LG-GW620 follows the debut of Motorola's first Android-based smartphone, Cliq, which was announced last week.
LG's South Korean rival Samsung www.samsung.co.uk has already launched an Android smartphone, as has HTC, which manufactured the T-Mobile G1 - the world's first mobile phone to run the Android OS.

The new mobile phone OS is aimed at making Internet services such as social networking sites, email, online maps and particularly Google services more easily accessible on smartphones.

The LG-GW620 sports a 3in touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keypad. Few other details about the smartphone were immediately available.

The device will hit some markets in Europe in the fourth quarter of this year, LG said.

The new smartphone is LG's first with the Android OS installed. The company said the new OS gives it the flexibility to offer more choices to users. LG has traditionally used Microsoft Windows Mobile in smartphones.

LG "will be introducing a minimum of 13 new smartphones over the next 16 months that utilise Microsoft's Windows Mobile," the company said.

The latest version of Windows Mobile, 6.5, will be widely available in new smartphones launching October 6, Microsoft said early this month. The new version of the OS takes over from Windows Mobile 6.1.

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See also: LG to open app store