Light Reading

Slideshow: Switching On Android

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

So, the long wait for the first-ever Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android mobile phone is over. The search giant teamed with T-Mobile US Inc. , High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), and a whole gaggle of hootin' and hollerin' developers to unveil the G1 phone in NYC today. Click the photo below to launch our slideshow:


The pricing of the device and its data plans once again ups the ante and lowers the price of mobile Internet access and massaging in the U.S. When the phone goes on sale in the U.S. for $179 on Oct. 22, it will be offered with either a $25 data plan with unlimited Web access but limited messaging, or users can go hog wild with true unlimited data for $35. T-Mobile's voice plans start at $30, so a $55 bucket with unlimited Internet access is now on the cards.

The data pricing is very much the point for T-Mobile. "The idea is driving mass adoption of the mobile Web in the U.S.," Tom Harlin, T-Mobile USA's senior manager for public relations told Unstrung. The carrier claims that there is currently only 16 percent penetration of mobile Internet usage in the U.S.

The carrier will follow the U.S. debut with a U.K. launch in early November. The G1 will hit continental Europe in early 2009.

The HTC phone itself melds much of the lessons learned from the iPhone and BlackBerry updates. The device sports a full QWERTY keyboard and a flip-out touch-screen. The software has a "Chrome-lite" browser onboard and supports a large swathe of audio and video codecs.

Google and friends couldn't haven't chosen a busier day in New York for the unveiling. Just a few blocks away, President Bush was preparing to give his final speech to the United Nations, and security was tight.

No world leaders actually made it to the G1 summit, but Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wowed the crowd with their phone and their skates.

All photos by Adam Cantour/, except where noted. Captions and story by Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:25 PM
re: Slideshow: Switching On Android
Congrats to T-Mobile on being the first carrier to announce a device on this promising platform. One of the things that they could really use would be FOTA - the capapbility to do Firmware updates Over The Air. Just like any other form of Linux, there will be patches and clearly the iPhone model of cabling into a machine running iTunes and dumping 200 megs of stuff down the pipe will not work, particularly considering the soft limit T-Mob announced on their unlimited data plans. FOTA uses a delta, the difference between the old FW version and the new, and this results in a far smaller file size and lets you do updates over the air.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:19 PM
re: Slideshow: Switching On Android
Does T-mobile have the bandwidth to support these things? They appear to load the network less than the iPhone, but still, when can we expect dropped calls?
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:18 PM
re: Slideshow: Switching On Android
The better question would be when *can't* you expect dropped calls, and I certainly don't limit that to T-Mobile. Seriously, can anyone really say they get perfect service from any carrier 100% of the time? New devices and network technology will just make it that bit more likely...

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:16 PM
re: Slideshow: Switching On Android
The traffic generated by handsets is not a problem for 3G networks. ItGÇÖs modems attached to laptops that generate all the traffic. This article summarizing research from Finland shows 90% of mobile data traffic is generated by computers.

There are many other data points showing the same thing.

ItGÇÖs unlikely many people would use much more than 1 GB of data on a handset in a month. Battery life of mobiles means you canGÇÖt use much data. ItGÇÖs an in-built protection mechanism.

So far as I understand, the Google phone cannot yet be used as a modem GÇô although IGÇÖd guess software that turns your 3G phone into a WiFi Hotspot (JoikuSpot, Walking Hotpot, etc ) will become available.
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