Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Korean carrier KTF have decided to jointly create an Android smartphone. While it is true, many well known phone manufacturers have announced forthcoming Android devices, and this device will not come until 2009, the significance of this announcement is two-fold.”

1.  DoCoMo and KTF have stated that because the device will be running Android, which is distributed for free, the smartphone will be 20% cheaper then current smartphones in its class.  This is the first time a manufacturer has made known the cost effect that a free operating system will bring.

2.  This announcement brings the first Android phone to the Korean peninsula.  Depending on it’s timing, it may or may not be the first Android phone to Asia.  However, an Android phone in Korea is significant because Korea is a market that not even Apple has been able to reach (based upon strict Korean regulations on non-Korean handsets).

Because the handset is to be released in two countries where DMB (mobile television) is prevalent and a common feature in most new phones, DMB is also a feature to be expected from any new Android phones in these markets.

Update: Telecoms Korea is reporting that a KTF official has said that KTF and DoCoMo have never held any talks regarding a jointly developed Android phone.  So scratch the KTF part of the story, perhaps.

Update: Android Community is reporting that DoCoMo has cleared the air and stated that they will not be jointly developing a phone with KTF, and that they still have plans to develop an Android phone, possibly with Google.

[via Android Guys]