September 24, 2008

T-Mobile G1 aka 'Dream' the first Android-powered mobile phone

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and T-Mobile USA, Inc. jointly launched the

T-Mobile G1. Google founders- Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, appeared on rollerblades on the stage and unveiled the T-Mobile G1 at a press conference jointly organized by Google and T-Mobile in New York on September 23, 2008.

The T-Mobile G1, also known as ‘Dream’ by HTC, is the first phone to use Google’s Android operating system. Through this mobile phone, Google starts its foray into “PC-based Internet mobile phones.” Produced by Taiwanese company, Hight Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) (TPE: 2498), the T-Mobile G1 is not a ‘trend-setter’ but a ‘catalyst’ in the growing trend of using Internet while traveling.

The T-Mobile G1 will compete with high-end smart phones like the Apple iPhone, RIM’s Blackberry. Google has a different plan with T-Mobile G1. Since Google Android is free, the company is expecting that many mobile users and mobile phone makers are going to use it making it possible to access Google’s services. In the process, the company will earn money from advertising. New York Times reports:

“For Google, Android is a cash drain,” said James Faucette, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. “They are going to lose money on Android as an operating system. They hope to make it up from the services that they are delivering through their infrastructure and servers.”

On the other hand, T-Mobile is looking forward to increase the sales of its data plans though the T-Mobile G1. The company believes that the mobile phone will attract business people and consumers.

T-Mobile G1 features:

  • The T-Mobile G1 comes with a large color touch screen. Sliding out the screen reveals a QWETRY key board. says:

The G1, which is initially being offered exclusively through T-Mobile in the United States and Europe, has many more buttons on the front and many more options on the screens inside. That means that it takes longer to do the things you want to do most frequently, but you also have many more options at hand. For example, when you take a photo, the software asks you whether you want to keep it or delete it. The iPhone just saves all your pictures and you have to go back and delete the ones you don’t want later.

  • The T-Mobile G1 has a 3-megapixel camera.
  • The T-Mobile G1 comes with G.P.S. navigation.
  • The T-Mobile G1 offers Wi-Fi access and an Internet browser.
  • Los Angeles Times reports:

Google executives predict the company will eventually make more money on the mobile Web than on the traditional Web. Investment bank Collins Stewart says it expects the search giant to add $5 billion in revenue from cellphone ads by 2011.

The G1 connects to Wi-Fi hot spots, features a keyboard and trackball and even has a compass, so when a user looking at Google Maps turns, the image does too.

  • The T-Mobile G1 comes with pre-installed applications including: Google search, YouTube, Gmail, GoogleMaps. Washington Post says:

With its move into the smartphone market, Google is taking a slightly different approach from Apple. While Apple keeps control over the applications that can be sold or given away at its online store, any programmer can create and distribute software products designed to run on Google's new operating system.

Executives from the three companies underscored that difference as a selling point yesterday. "We think Android is future-proof because it has openness built in," said Google's vice president of mobile products, Andy Rubin.

  • The T-Mobile G1 has an applications store. Known as “the Android Marketplace,” the store allows the G1 owners to download various programs in their mobile phones.
  • The T-Mobile G1 has a software that allows the user to buy and download music from’s music store. pogue.blogs.nytimes

But here’s the thing: Android, and the G1, are open. Open, open, open, in ways that would make Steve Jobs cringe. You can unlock this phone after 90 days—that is, use any SIM card from any carrier in it. The operating system is free and open-source, meaning that any company can make changes without consulting or paying Google. The App store is completely open, too; T-Mobile and Google say they won’t censor programs that they don’t approve of, as Apple does with the iPhone store. Yes, even if someone writes a Skype-like program that lets people avoid using up T-Mobile cellular voice minutes.

  • The T-Mobile G1 is currently available in English but it will be available in other languages.
  • The T-Mobile G1 enables the user to customize its phone functions.


The T-Mobile G1 will be available in USA from October 22, 2008. It will cost $179 ($20 less than iPhone). The phone comes with a two-year contract. Users will be able to subscribe to a limited data plan for $25 per month. For unlimited data access they would have to pay $35 per month. The mobile will be launched in the U.K in early November. In the first quarter of 2009, the phone will be launched in other European markets. Analysts are expecting that the sales of the T-Mobile G1 will range from 200,000 units to 400,000 units in 2008. Business Week says:

Still, the original iPhone sold 1 million units in its first 1½ months on the market—and that was during what is usually a slow sales season, compared with end-of-year holidays. Apple expects to sell 10 million units of the next-generation device, the iPhone 3G, this year.

Sales expectations are lower for Android partly because G1 will be carried by T-Mobile USA, which has 30 million subscribers, compared with Apple's iPhone partner, AT&T (T), which has more than 70 million.

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