Australia’s Kogan Technologies announced its Agora Android phone, two models of which it has been pre-selling for $268 or $200 (US dollars),Â announced it would not be shipping, as promised, on Jan. 29.
Kogan has abandoned attempts to market the two Agora modelsÂ built to its specifications in China which were to have been the only Android phones so far available, apart from the USA-only HTC G1. They were promoted on the Kogan Web site and drew some international attention at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Then the plug was pulled for what Kogan founder, Ruslan Kogan, described as ‘potential future interoperability issues’. He added that the phone needed ‘significant redesign to ensure its compatibility with future Android applications.’ That is almost certainly him in the picture above taken from Facebook. Unless there are two people in Australia called Ruslan Kogan.
Several international Web news sites are already querying the Kogan experience.
How come, several are asking, did Ruslan Kogan go so close to launch without testing the phones from his Chinese supplier? Others are pointing to the small 2.5-inch screen Kogan was offering: a far call from the 3.2-inch screens Android application developers are developing for, or the 3.5/3.1-inch screens favoured by rival models like iPhone and Palm Pre.
Resolution was put at 320×240, compared with the 320×480 resolution many developers are said to be expecting. Unconfirmed reports suggest this was pointed out to Ruslan Kogan at a meeting with Google last week.
In Australia David Richards’ Channel News reported Kogan’s marketing director Daniel Beahan as saying he had no knowledge of the phone being canceled. He reportedly said, ‘I am surprised. I am away on holidays and no-one has told me that the phone is canceled.’
A senior HTC executive in Taiwan claimed funding problems might be a reason for the delay.
The plot thickens.