T-Mobile G1 gets unlocked, though it loses a few features

And we’re off! Just 7 days after the G1’s release, some clever folks have managed to get the handset up and running on networks outside of T-Mobile’s grasp. Unfortunately, they’re also clever enough to go about it as entrepreneurs; if you want the unlock code, it’ll set you back $22.99.

Once you’ve given Unlock-TMobileG1.com some cash and your device’s IMEI number, they’ll give you an 8 digit unlock code. Once you’ve got that, it’s as easy as popping off the battery, slipping in the non-T-Mobile SIM card, and punching in the code they gave you.

The downside? Taking the device off of T-Mobile’s network seems to prevent you from connecting to Gmail or the Android Market. While the latter is a bit obvious (Once paid apps are available, how would they bill you?), the Gmail malfunction comes as a surprising disappointment.

While the haste on the part of the unlockers is impressive, I don’t really see the point of unlocking a G1 outside of a few special cases. With a good chunk of the handset makers dipping their feet into Android’s cool, cool waters, it’s a matter of months before all of the major carriers have an Android handset of their own. At the very least, wait until someone gets around to hacking up an unlock code generator and putting it up on BitTorrent.

[Via AndroidCommunity]