Print 59 comment(s) - last by LatinMessiah.. on Oct 3 at 8:21 PM

T-Mobile makes waves with its new G1

It's been nearly a year since Google first officially announced its plans to develop an operating system for mobile phones and today we see the launch of the first phone using Android. The T-Mobile G1 was launched today at a press event in New York City.

Starting with the hardware, the phone itself measures 4.60" x 2.16" x 0.62" and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. The device features a 3.17" touchscreen with a 480x320 resolution. The G1 supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA and of course GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi.

For those that aren't quite sold on the Apple iPhone's touchscreen-based "soft" keyboard, the T-Mobile G1 features a qwerty keyboard which is revealed by turning the device on its side and sliding the keyboard upward. Other niceties include a built-in 3.1MP camera and a microSD slot (a 1GB microSD comes pre-installed).

The T-Mobile G1 will be available at launch in black, brown, and white.

Microsoft has already announced that it is developing an applications store similar in concept to Apple's iTunes App Store called "Skymarket". Google will launch what it calls Android Market. Given that the T-Mobile G1 uses a Google-based operating system, Google Maps (complete with Street View and Traffic View) and YouTube applications are pre-installed on the device. Google’s newly launched Chrome web browser will also make an appearance on the G1 in the form of “Chrome Lite”.

Another direct shot is taken at Apple in the form of a dedicated Amazon MP3 Music Store application designed for Android. Customers will have access to over six million DRM free songs starting at just $0.89 each. Customers will be able to download the songs directly to the G1, but a WiFi connection is required for over the air downloads.

"Amazon wants to make it easy for customers to discover, buy, and play their music wherever they happen to be--whether sitting at their computer or on the go," said Bill Carr, Vice President for Digital Music and Video. "We look forward to the release of the T-Mobile G1, which will put Amazon MP3's vast selection of low-priced DRM-free music at the fingertips of even more customers in more places."

The T-Mobile G1 will be available October 22 for $179 with a two-year contract. Data plans will start at $25 for unlimited data and limited messaging; while unlimited data and messaging will set you back $35.

According to BusinessWeek, T-Mobile is expected to sell 200,000 to 400,000 of the phones before the end of 2008. Analysts for iSuppli expect that figure to grow to as many as 9 million units globally for all of 2009.

You can catch Walt Mossberg's first impressions of the device here.

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By RedAlice on 9/23/2008 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
The T-Mobile G1 will be available October 22 for $179 with a two-year contract. Data plans will start at $25 for unlimited data and limited messaging; while unlimited data and messaging will set you back $35.

Unless you're already a T-Mobile customer in which case they already have your contract and your money and it'll cost you $299 (plus an additional 2 year contract, PLUS the data package) to get the G1. Thanks T-Mobile, all about getting new customers and never about satisfying the ones you got. Thanks....thanks a lot.
Looks like I'll be sticking it out with my Blackberry :(

RE: *Sure*
By lightfoot on 9/23/2008 1:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure?

If $299 is the full price of the phone, and you're compairing it to the $179 for the subsidized phone, it is no different than any other phone on the market. You must currently be locked into a previous contract in which you should expect a prorated early termination penalty (same story for any other carrier.)

Personally I'm one year into a two year contract with TMobile, and $120 doesn't sound like an unreasonable premium to ditch my existing contract a year early.

RE: *Sure*
By RedAlice on 9/23/2008 3:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
I thought by upgrading your current handset you were putting an extension on the contract. Not entering a new contract. If you are one year into a 2 year contract and you sign another 2 year contract you have three years left of your contract with T-Mobile?

RE: *Sure*
By diablofish on 9/23/2008 2:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
As a current T-Mobile customer (and have been since 2000), that's untrue in my experience. Every time I've called they've been willing to work something out when I'm under contract - as long as my contract isn't brand new. While I won't be calling immediately to try to bargain since they are betting on the devices popularity driving sales, I'm sure in a couple months when I call looking to upgrade my handset they'll be willing once again to work something out.

And if they aren't, I'll just tell them I'm switching. And then they'll call me and beg me not to. This game gets played every couple of years when I look to upgrade my handset - and they generally treat me well.

RE: *Sure*
By LatinMessiah on 9/23/2008 2:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the same boat as DiabloFish here. I've been long time T-Mobile customer and the customer service has always been excellent. Hopefully the success of this new phone doesn't get to their head and turn into a-holes.

RE: *Sure*
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/23/2008 3:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
I just tried calling them and met with huge disappointment. My 2 year contract runs out mid December. I am not eligible to upgrade to this phone without the additional fee until October 19 (2 months early, not too bad), but they told me that if I pre-order now, they will not be able to give me the discount.... EVEN THOUGH I WOULDNT GET IT UNTIL OCT 22 (plus a few days for shipping, i suppose).

I even asked if speaking to a manager either now or after Oct 19 (but still before the phone shipped and I would have presumably benefited from the new phone) could help in working something out. Nope. I dont see why they couldnt backdate my discount. So... I have to wait to pre-order 3 days before and likely wait on the back order. *sigh*

Also, with regard to the above posts about pricing, you do save a bundle in comparison to AT&T. I have many-a-time compared my T-mobile rates (data, unlimited text, 5-fav plan, 2 lines) to the AT&T rates (comparable usage rates) because I secretly desired an iPhone. When I started seeing a $1600+ difference over the life of the 2 year contract (for 2 lines, 1 plan), the iPhone became much less appealing. No wonder they cut the iPhone price... crafty devils.

I think a lot of T-mobile customers are in the same boat as I am: wanting something a little more fun than a blackberry or WinMo device, but suffering through it all because the rates and plans just make a lot of sense after some work with the calculator.

RE: *Sure*
By kampret on 9/23/2008 6:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I understand what you mean...

Since I'm already a T-Mobile customer for a couple of years (no more contracts), do I still get tied for 2 yrs if I get the phone? And where did you get the $299 price tag?

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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