The age of the Android OS is at hand. But if you’re not a current T-Mobile customer, it will cost you.
According to an unofficial T-Mobile blog, the first version of the multimedia Google Phone will be released by HTC starting on September 17 for one week, for T-Mobile customers only. This offer will be immediately followed by a general release a week later.
It will be called, ostensibly, the G1, the better to ensure heavy back-patting sessions between HTC executives, boast-full about putting out the first G-phone.
Tmobilelogo2But a quirky aspect of this pretty-much confirmed rumor is that it will sell for $150 that week only, and then go up by 33% the week after that, to $250 and $400 (likely depending on the size). The $150 price point will place it right between the iPhone and Sprint’s Samsung Instinct for optimal competition, but even with an innovative new OS and the hype that will come with it, price will be a key factor. Which is why the data pricing is important, and unfortunately, there’s no word on that yet.
Another rumor is that users will be required to own a Google Mail account. Potential buyers who do not own a Gmail account (and are forcibly against keeping more than one e-depository) won’t like that one.
Android is the work of the Open Handset Alliance headed by Google, which is aimed to offer an open and free mobile platform. The Android SDK kit was released late last year, and we’re not expected to see a full fleet of the phones until next year.
The HTC G1 is supposed to include a 5” x 3” touch screen (making the 3.5” one of the iPhone look inadequate), a sliding QWERTY keyboard (like the Sidekick), a 3-megapixel camera, and 3G network connectivity.