Google's G1 Android handset to be free in UK. Look out iPhone.

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TechCrunch has been “double-live blogging” (oh yes) the T-Mobile / Google Android handset press launch, and here’s a handy summary of what was said.

If you’re pressed for time, here’s the skinny: It launches in the UK in early November and the rest of Europe 2009. The handset will be free on price plans from £40 a month (no news on pays as you go), which will make it competitve with the iPhone on pricing, which is “free” for a £45 a month tariff from O2. You can pre-register with T-Mobile here

Cole Brodman CTO and CIO for T-Mobile talked about the “New mobile Internet of the future.” Others present at the launch in New York were Andy Rubin, Senior Director of Mobile Platforms for Google and Christopher Schlaffer. Peter Chou, CEO HTC was there. HTC makes the G1.

Expect the G1 to have a “Superior user experience.” T-Mobile’s Web and Walk tarrif saw a 250% increase in internet traffic and it was a founding member of the open handset alliance, (and that was without the iPhone), they say.

Rubin: “With Android we are bringing some of those [Internet] strategies to the mobile phone. Developers will be able to develop on it and also to modify it. Because it is open, it is somewhat future proof.” Peter Chou, CEO of HTC said it was a “tremendous effort” to make this Open Handset Alliance/Android possible.

In the US the G1 Phone will be $179 – very cheap for a smart phone – and will be launched on October 22.

The G1 has a touch-screen interface and a Sidekick-like keyboard, which will really set it apart from the iPhone.

With video you can swipe, frame and crop a photo to the homescreen (just like the iPhone!). Street view and google maps look great. Compass (GPS) mode moves as you move. Comes with Google Talk, Google Maps with directions and traffic view, street view with landmarks. Facebook looks good in the Webkit browser. The Music player has advanced features. The Android Market wil be an app store for games and apps (Pac Man!). It has a dedicated search button on keyboard, which competition authorities might take a good look at.

Third party parners include Eco Rio which let’s you track your carbon footprint; Shopsavvy, a barcode scanner, with comparative pricing on goods.

Existing T-Mobile customers can order it today in the US with a $25 data plan with unlimited Web access, limited messaging or $35 unlimited, but no free email.

The Q&A posed a few questions.

Rubin said: “We will go broader with more features and functionality.”

You can’t use it as tethered modem. It can Word docs, Excel, but no Exchange, though there is the opportunity for third party developers to build for this. Email will be push.

The phone will be SIMlocked to T-Mobile.

There is no desktop syncing application. (I guess Google thinks your Gmail is already ‘in the cloud’, right?)

Email: HTML email client, which syncs with Gmail and other POP3 or IMAP mail services. It has a 3-megapixel camera.

It will come with WiFi. YouTube support is also on board.

Google is expecting a “huge effect on GTalk”. I bet.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin made a surprise visit on rollerblades!

Brin said: “I have been using it in my pocket for a while now. The first app I wrote was one where you throw the phone up in the air and it calculates how much time it takes to hit the ground, using the accelerometer.” Man these guys are geeks…

  • Dan Field

    Looks good… any hints on how locked down to the T-Mobile network it will be?

    • Ali

      Yes i do go on youtube and they will tell you how do it.
      I have one and they are one of the best mobile’s ever.
      Have you got one.

  • Simon Grice

    There’s a discussion next Tuesday in London –

  • Dominic Travers

    I don’t think users will have to wait to long for the device to be unlocked by indie developers and would expect an app for using it as a modem over USB to be available within weeks.
    If you want to get the full story on where the Android project is heading next year then get yourself a ticket for the Future of Mobile conference on 17th November. It features a Keynote from Rich Miner: Head of Mobile Projects at Google. See you there.

  • T-Mobile G1 óå ÁìåñéêÞ êáé Åõñþðç óýíôïìá

    […] êáé Ïëëáíäßá (äõóôõ÷þò ç ÅëëÜäá äåí öáßíåôáé êÜðïõ ðñïò ôï ðáñüí). Óôçí Áããëßá ìÜëëïí èá äéáôßèåôáé áêüìá êáé äùñåÜí áí êÜðïéïò åðéëÝîåé óõãêåêñéìÝíá […]

  • Mike Butcher

    Dan – Technically it’s SIM-locked to T-Mobile but I daresay a few hackers will break that at some point given that Android is based on Linux…

  • Gphoned

    Of course, the only place, after Techcrunch, for Gphone news is of course

  • Please add your site here

    Looks really nice..wonder how long before pay as you go comes on the market, taken apple over 12 months

  • Andrew Gill

    Yeah, it looks great. Having used many HTC products over the years I’ve always found them to be a bit clunky… partly because of using Windows Mobile OS but also the hardware often feels shoddy in comparison to RIM Blackberry or iPhone. It looks like Android OS will be superb but lets hope HTC (and the other hardware manufacturers) can deliver the high standards that RIM and Apple have set.


    We obviously not seeing the whole noise that was made for iPhones.
    I am t-mobile contract owner on the flex contract that a number of years therefore have a reduced rate. So a bump up to £40 is something that I not sure I want to explore.
    The key factors would be speed of the net on the phone, my upgrade/end contract not due till February, therefore plenty of feedback by then before I decided. hacked versions should be around by then also I assume


  • Mike Butcher
  • baqir

    mike this question is for you ive bein trying to find out everywhere if the t mobile g1 is also on pay as you go other than contract and i just couldnt is the t mobile g1 also on pay as you go? because i really want one on pay as you go. Thanks and please try to email me at

  • butler

    hey, is the internet access on the g1 going to be free like it is on the iphone?

    • joe bloggs

      yes, the internet will be included in your price plan (t-mobile’s web ‘n’ walk)

  • butler

    what i mean to say is, will it be like th internet use of the iphone usuable at any time included in the monthly charge or will you have to pay extra

    • kris

      the internet is most probably be free, iv read something about it.

  • butler

    ite cool has anyone got it yet

  • .

    Wheree cann i buy thiss on pay as youu goo,
    causee i realli want it on pay as youu go.
    Reply backk soon

  • .

    Wheree can i buyy thiss t-mobile g1 on payy as youu go,
    causee i realli wantt itt on pay as youu go.
    Reply Bacckk Soon..

    • Ali mostaani

      Hi dood look
      on the google g1 website i got mine from there ok.
      so please reply back if you get this mes.

  • Ali mostaani

    How much is one

  • Bfgfgffgfg

    aww poor yous lot ive already got one and the bestthing is im only 12

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  • Strappingx Machines

    Analysts believe that Google may have been working on an android powered phone before the iPhone was introduced but the iPhone seemed to have given them better insights as to how to perfect their own smartphone.  Well i really admire your post.Thanks for sharing.Keep sharing.

  • franking

    All the pics of the handsets are really great.Its really looking smart & gorgeous.You have done a great job by sharing this post with us.I like this post.Keep sharing with us in future too..

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