IT EXPO East 2012 – Panasonic “open source” Android desk phone debuts

Miami, FL – Panasonic (www.panasonic.com/sip) has rolled out a $499 7 inch color touch screen Android-based desk phone. But they say they can’t call it Android due to legal headaches with Google.

The KX-UT670 is certified as compatible with a bunch of different SIP-based platforms, including Asterisk, BroadSoft, and Metaswitch. Codecs supported include G.722, G.726.

Panasonic Product Manager Kim Murtaugh says the company is using the phrase “open source” operating system due to concerns that Google doesn’t like to see Android associated with anything other than mobile devices. But it is clear the underlying operating system is indeed Android 2.x once you go beyond the home screen and dive into the various menus.

It is not clear how easily stock Android applications can be brought into/ported over to the Panasonic phone. Digium CTO Mark Spencer indicated he’d like to find out in order to provide deeper customization with Asterisk.

Panasonic joins several other vendors already in the Android desktop space. Cloud Telecomputers is now shipping its Glass Android phone with an 8.9 inch widescreen color touch screen at a list price of $599 while DSP Group has demonstrated several OEM-style concepts for wireless home/consumer handsets utilizing Android.

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