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Google, T-Mobile Release First Android-powered Phone

T-Mobile has announced the first Android-powered phone -- the T-Mobile G1 which runs on the Android operating system. The phone, which will sell for $179.00, is built by HTC and has a slide-out keyboard akin to T-Mobile's Sidekick phones. The G1 also comes equipped with an optional trackball for one-handed navigation.

The T-Mobile G1 combines full touch-screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Web experience that includes Google applications like Google Maps Street View, Gmail, YouTube, and the like.

T-Mobile customers in the U.S. can pre-order the T-Mobile G1, in limited quantities, immediately at www.T-MobileG1.com. The device will be available at some T-Mobile retail stores and online in the U.S. beginning October 22, with a two-year voice and data agreement of monthly $25 unlimited data plan or $35 for unlimited data and text messaging.The T-Mobile G1 will also be available in the United Kingdom beginning in November, and across Europe in the first quarter of 2009. Countries include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

"Increasingly, connectivity does not just mean a phone call, but rather access to the world's information," said Google's Andy Rubin. "Today's news signifies an important first step for the Open Handset Alliance: With Android, we've opened the mobile Web not only for millions of users, but also to mobilize the developer community that understands the next most important platform in the world rests in the palm of our hand."

Working together, T-Mobile, Google, and HTC integrated Android and T-Mobile services into the phone's form and function. The T-Mobile G1's screen slides open to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. With one-click contextual search, T-Mobile G1 customers can search for relevant information with a touch of a finger. A full HTML Web browser lets users see any Web page, then zoom in to expand any section by tapping on the screen. With built-in support for T-Mobile's 3G and EDGE network as well as Wi-Fi, the T-Mobile G1 can connect to available high-speed data connection for surfing the Web and downloading information.

The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to offer access to Android Market, which hosts unique applications and mash ups of existing and new services from developers around the world. With just a couple of clicks, customers can find and download software applications -- from games to social networking and on-the-go shopping. When the phone launches next month, Android applications will be available for download on Android Market, including:

  • ShopSavvy: an application designed to help people do comparative shopping. Users scan the UPC code of a product with their phone's camera while they are shopping, and can instantly compare prices from online merchants and nearby local stores.
  • Ecorio: a new application developed to help people keep track of their daily travels and view what their carbon footprint looks like. With access to tips and tricks, Ecorio allows users to record the steps they take throughout their day to help offset their impact on the environment.
  • BreadCrumbz: a new application that enables people to create a step-by-step visual map using photos. Customers can create their own routes, share them with friends or with the world.

At the same time, Google announced it has released the Android 1.0 SDK R1. To date, Google claims that more than 1,700 applications have been developed as part of the Android Developer Challenge. The Open Handset Alliance has announced it will open source the entire Android platform by the end of the year. Finally, Google says that developers will soon be able to distribute their applications to real handsets through the beta version of Android Market.

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