updated 10:30 pm EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
T-Mobile Amazon Rumor
T-Mobile's first Android phone could have the surprise of a built-in music and video service on launch, if a tip sent to VentureBeat proves accurate. An example of the G1 was reportedly seen in San Francisco carrying an Amazon music and video store client that would give it access to both services, pitting the device against the music-only iTunes Store on iPhones. It's unclear whether the G1 would have access to the store over the cellular network or if it would share Apple's limitation to Wi-Fi networks.
Also unclear would be any content delivery mechanism for video. Although music would by necessity involve unprotected downloads from Amazon MP3, a video service that taps into Amazon's just-launched Video On Demand would either require direct streaming support, which could potentially be affected by transfer speeds, or else copy protection support for the downloadable versions of rentals and purchases.
An appearance by Amazon would effectively put the G1 and potentially other Android phones on par with much of the iPhone's default apps. Android's creator, Google, has already confirmed the existence of Android Market, its own download portal for third-party apps. The software is superficially similar to iTunes' App Store but will have fewer restrictions on incoming content in exchange for an initial focus only on free downloads.
T-Mobile unveils full details of the 3G, touchscreen G1 at a special New York City event on Tuesday morning and is believed to be launching the final product in mid-October.