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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 SiliconAddict on 9/23/2008 11:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
The two deal killers are that they don't support tethering to PC's. for the amount I'd be paying per month this feature alone is mandatory. However I have zero doubt that this feature WILL be hacked eventually. the thing has a USB port on it, and Bluetooth. It will happen.
But tethering is pointless with the real deal killer for me. In small print on the agreement it says that if you exceed 1GB in data transfers per billing cycle they will throttle you down to 50kb/s which is around old school modem speed. with the new data centric features on the G1 such as Google Maps with streetview, Amazon's MP3 single click downloads, PIM syncing, photos, true web browsing, and frankly things that will be dreamed up by developers 1GB really isn't a lot. Yes on traditional smart phones with clipped web browsing it would be very difficult to hit 1GB. But on the iPhone and now the G1? really not that hard anymore.

Now yes. I realize that the reality is that T Mobile JUST rolled out G3 in the US. This may very well be the core reason for the cap. They are scared, and rightly so, that the popularity of the G1 will being their network to its knees. Something that, might I add, did happen on ATT's network even after they beefed it up prior to the iPhone's launch. However if this IS the case. T Mobile should be candied and simply state in the fine print this is a temporary condition and tweaks to the rate will change in the future.
As it stands everyone on on T Mobile's fansites are making a BIG ass assumption that T Mobile will tweak this down the road. I don't sign up for a 2 year plan based around assumptions thank you very much.

The hardware isn't perfect. I can accept that. Some of the things that aren't perfect can be fixed via software updates, and the rest? Meh *shrugs* No its the policy that has just exed T Mobile off my list as a possible carrier.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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