Google announces $10 million in prizes for new cell phone applications

Mountain View-based Google Inc. (GOOG) is offering a total of $10 million to developers to build mobile applications for Android, the company’s free suite of cell phone software.

The Android Developer Challenge, announced Monday, will offer prizes ranging from $25,000 to $275,000 to developers for applications chosen by a panel of judges. Judging will take place in two rounds, Challenge I and Challenge II, with the 50 most promising entries in the first round receiving $25,000 and eligibility for 20 second round awards of $275,000 of $100,000.

Android, announced, Nov. 5, was launched by Google and more than 30 technology and mobile phone companies, and will be a free, open platform. The first handsets built on the platform are expected to become available in the second half of 2008.

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