Aircell, a Broomfield, Colo.-based electronics manufacturer, has introduced what they say is an industry first: a smartphone for the air.

Not everyone can buy their Aircell Smartphone and use it on their next flight, as it is designed for private jets, Aircell says. The phone uses an Android operating system and has a 3.8 color touchscreen display. The first shipments of the phone are schedule for late 2011. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Airlines have tentatively moved to allow cell phone calls on flights; Cathay Pacific signed a deal with Panasonic Avionics to put broadband internet, cable TV and voice capabilities on their flights in 2012. But thus far no U.S. carrier has set up systems allowing in-flight cell phone calls. 

The result of extensive industrial design and human factors study, the Aircell Smartphone epitomizes the notion of next-generation inflight communications.  It gives passengers exactly what they want - the best-sounding, best-looking and easiest-to-use handset in aviation, John Wade, Aircell's executive vice president of Business Aviation Services said in a statement. We've received extraordinary feedback from all corners of the industry on this achievement, and we look forward to bringing it to market later this year.