The mobile handset operating system backed by web giant Google kept something of a low profile during the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this week.

Taiwanese vendor HTC, maker of the first ever Android-based handset, was the only company to come out with a solid addition to it’s portfolio in the shape of the Magic handset, but Chinese vendor Huawei also confirmed its own foray into the Android handset space.

Huawei showcased its first Android-powered smart phone, and said the device will be commercially available in the third quarter. Huawei said it partnered with a design consultancy to develop a robust and user-friendly interface able to evolve with operators’ differentiation requirements. This suggests Huawei will be offering the gadget as a white label device for operators to brand as their own.

Smart phones are expected to account for more than 24 per cent of the global mobile phone market by 2011, and this figure is set to exceed 30 per cent by 2012, the Chinese vendor said.

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