LG Mobile is to launch its first Android handset, the GW620 Intouch Max, on January 18 on T-Mobile and Virgin.
LG said the device will be positioned in the lower mid-tier of the market, and should attract higher uptake of the handset.
The Intouch Max has a 3-inch full touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keypad and a five-megapixel camera. The handset also links all contacts with their social networking accounts through the SNS Manager software.
Other features include instant messenger, threaded text messaging and face tagging.
It is the first Android device Virgin is offering and is available free on a £22 18-month contract. T-Mobile is offering the device on a 24-month £20 contract.
LG Mobile sales and marketing director John Barton said: “There’s no doubt that this year there will be a shift from early adoption of open software platforms to the early majority of consumers so we have launched the device at the right time.
“We haven’t launched an open platform product until now because we haven’t had the right solution. It’s always best to look at what the consumer wants before launching a product.
“Apple has been over the top with its marketing of apps, but maybe rightly so. It’s important for all vendors to move into the lucrative app market.
“Android is very interesting because around 75 per cent of the apps on the Android Market are free, compared with 20 per cent of free apps on the Apple App Store.”