Slideshow: Switching On Android
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/Adamcantour.net, except where noted. Captions and story by Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung