The T-Mobile G1 with Google, the first device to run Google's Android mobile operating system, is suddenly more affordable. It debuted Oct. 22, 2008, for $399, or $179 with a two-year service agreement, which fell to $150 over the summer. The price with a new service contract is now listed at $129.99.
Not that a spontaneous visitor to the T-Mobile Website would know that. The site is heavily promoting a $100 discount on the MyTouch 3G, another Android-based device and T-Mobile's answer to AT&T's Apple iPhone and Sprint's Palm Pre.
Coming in the fourth quarter from T-Mobile is the Android-running Cliq smartphone featuring MotoBlur, a syncing solution that ties together contact information from sources such as the user's e-mail and Facebook accounts-a capability T-Mobile cheekily refers to as "social skills." The Cliq will have a 3.1-inch full touch-screen, a full HTML browser and a slide-out QWERTY touch-screen, and is scheduled to arrive in time for the holidays. Which means T-Mobile is likely looking to clear off some shelf space for new inventory.
In tests, eWEEK has found the G1 with Google to be a solid mobile device with an excellent touch-screen-a "strong consumer offering" and a "worthy competitor to Apple and its iPhone." The G1 features a bright 3.17-inch touch-screen, weighs 5.6 ounces and measures 4.6 by 2.2 by 0.6 inches.
While T-Mobile will still offer software updates, and so isn't rendering the device obsolete, the G1 is no longer the new kid on the block. In May, Google predicted that Android would be on 18 to 20 phones by the end of 2009. Verizon is rumored to have an Android phone arriving in November, and on Oct. 11, the Android-running HTC Hero is expected to arrive on the Sprint network.
Compared with 2008 numbers, research company Strategy Analytics has predicted that shipments of the Google Android OS will have grown by 900 percent by the end of 2009. Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics, said in a May statement, "Android is now in a good position to become a top-tier player in smartphones over the next two to three years."