Initial Thoughts on T-Mobile’s G1

T-Mobile announced the G1 handset, the world’s first Google Android powered mobile device. The event, which was wisely broadcast on-line, gave us a few details into the device. You can go elsewhere for the detailed hardware details, but here’s what stood out to me:

Awesome Price Point: The G1 is going to be available on October 22 in the US and will be priced at $179. Why is this significant? It’s $20 cheaper than the iPhone.

Amazon Store Built-in: Google seems to really be taking it to Apple with the G1…among the factors are the Amazon music store included with DRM-free songs.

SIM Locked: T-Mo claims that the phone is ‘open’. In fact, “open” was a recurring message in the announcement. However this is a locked handset? Doesn’t sound very open to me.

I know you’re getting a smart phone for under $200, but this is still a contradiction.

A World Phone: It supports the US-Only AWS 3G band from T-Mobile, but additionally is capable of speaking quad-band GSM for voice calls and every major HSPA frequency for data as well.

My question, since you can do all these 3G frequencies worldwide, what about the SIM lock? For example, can I take this phone to the UK and pop in a 3 SIM? Probably not.

Takeaway:

This handset is going to give iPhone a run for it’s money in the US. For those who want a touch screen phone that isn’t locked down to Apple’s DRM and Steve Job’s will on what apps you can have, the G1 will suit them.

The G1 will just give T-Mobile USA a much needed shot in the arm. The arguments of T-Mobile USA not having a) an iPhone competitive handset and b) a 3G network are now baseless.

The promo video is linked below: