T-Mobile G1 Android Presales Hit 1.5M

The Android-based G1 smart phone from T-Mobile, Google and HTC is creating strong buzz even before the device hits the streets Oct. 22. Reports claim preorders for the device, which is based on Google's Android mobile operating platform, have already hit 1.5 million. The G1 is expected to provide strong competition to Apple's iPhone and RIM's recently announced BlackBerry Storm.

Just a week before T-Mobile's much anticipated G1 Android smart phone hits the streets Oct. 22, rumors are swirling that preorders have hit 1.5 million. T-Mobile has refused to confirm or deny the rumors about the first smart phone to be powered by Google's Android operating system.

Even if the numbers are inflated, the presales demand seems to support T-Mobile's prediction that it will sell more than 500,000 units by the end of 2008. HTC, which is manufacturing the G1, has said it expects that T-Mobile will sell 600,000 to 700,000 units from late October through Dec. 31 and as many as 2 million by the end of 2009.

Presale orders are currently limited to existing T-Mobile customers. Orders placed before Oct. 21 will be shipped on or around Nov. 10. T-Mobile is selling the G1 for $179, with a two-year voice and data service plan.

Inevitably, the initial sales of the G1 will be compared to those of the Apple iPhone, which sold 1 million first-generation iPhones in 74 days in 2007 and a stunning 1 million iPhone 3Gs in three days in July.

Adding to the competition between the Google phone and the iPhone will be Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm-with its new tactile touch-screen-that will be exclusively available on Verizon Wireless in the United States in a matter of weeks.

With a look similar to the iPhone, the Storm comes with a 3.2-inch screen, preloaded with Facebook, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. The device features built-in GPS, a 3.2-megapixel camera, video recording capability, a media player and a removable battery. Additional applications will be available through a BlackBerry app store. The device is expected to sell for approximately the same price as an iPhone.

As previously reported in eWEEK, the G1 boasts a touch-screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a trackball to give users the most accessibility possible while searching Web content from a mobile device.