updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue September 23, 2008
T-Mobile G1 Official
T-Mobile today announced final details of the T-Mobile G1, the world's first production Android phone and the carrier's first 3G smartphone. The device revolves around its open, Linux-based operating system that allows third-party developers to create apps that can fundamentally change the functionality of the phone and of mobile apps in general. Google itself also gives the device key access to its own software, including a quick jump to Google Search and dedicated apps for Google Calendar, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Talk and YouTube. Access will be built-in for Android Market, an App Store-like portal for downloading and eventually purchasing third-party software.
Web browsing is based on a similar, open WebKit engine to Google Chrome and Apple's Safari that provides full HTML and a touchscreen interface. A full media player is onboard for AAC and MP3 audio as well as YouTube videos.
The hardware itself connects over HSDPA to T-Mobile's fledgling 3G network and also includes Wi-Fi for short-range networking and a three-megapixel camera for still shooting. GPS is bulit-in and not only supports directions but a unique Street View feature in Google Maps that not only allows browsing at street level but will pivot with the user's own orientation to give them a physical point of reference.
Amazon MP3 is built-in to give customers unprotected MP3 downloads when on Wi-Fi.
T-Mobile ships the device to the US on October 22nd, when it will sell for $179 when joined with a voice plan and a data plan; a new $25 plan offers unlimited Internet access, while a $35 pack adds 400 SMS messages. A UK launch is expected in November, while Europe (including Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands) receives the device in early 2009. Pre-orders start today for existing T-Mobile customers in the US.