Here Comes the GPhone, Part IV
Early rumors of a Google phone, before the Android platform was announced, gave the device a name of “GPhone” (remember?). That name ended up being not that far off the mark — though Google ended up building the OS rather than the hardware.
Reports are swirling today that T-Mobile will be the first to offer a phone that runs Android — a smartphone to be released Sept. 17 named “G1.” It will reportedly sell for $150 in the first week and then increase to $250 to $400.
It will have a 5-by-3-inch touch screen (compared with the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen) and a sliding QWERTY keyboard, much like T-Mobile’s Sidekick. It will also have a 3-megapixel camera and 3G network compatibility. Here are some screen shots we covered, indicating what mobile device interfaces and applications built on Android could look like.
But there are some drawbacks: It will be available to T-Mobile subscribers only and, reportedly, only in Las Vegas and New York City at launch. These are the cities where T-Mobile will have 3G networks in place by then.
This comes days after our speculation that it could take a bit longer before we actually see Android hit the market.
“But it will be a while before we see Android-based apps reach the market because of the difficulties in getting carrier deals that essentially land a given operating system on a phone. Wheels are in motion though, and Apple has effectively “broken in” the market in this respect.”
Though rumors had already indicated a T-Mobile/Android Tie-Up, I now stand (happily) corrected.
This Post Has 2 Comments
As a T-Mobile customer, this definitely pleases me but it just seems so limiting to make a deal with just one carrier. Imagine how many more they’d sell if they’d open it up?
It will take some time, but this will create a standard in the market – along with the iPhone – which will create every carrier to want to sign deals with better software providers. It will take a while but it will become a competitive necessity. AT&T meanwhile has an exclusive contract with Apple for the iPhone but they could eventually open it up to other carriers once the contract terminates.