No Huge Lines for Android

11:05 AM -- There were no lines snaking 'round the block as T-Mobile US Inc. introduced the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) G1 using the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system. Rather than the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)iPhone-like frenzy we saw earlier this year, T-Mobile staff reported a steady stream of interested customers, often buying two or more devices.

There was no line outside either the 23rd street and 8th Avenue T-Mobile store in Manhattan or the one down a few blocks on 5th Avenue. Nonetheless, staff at the 8th Avenue was anticipating selling out of their stock of 35 devices by noon and shifted about 20 in the first hour of business. (See T-Mobile: 95 Cities Will Have 3G for Android, Slideshow: Switching On Android, and G1 Is Just the Start for Android.)

It took me about 45 minutes to buy a phone waiting inside the store with four people ahead of me. They weren't selling any without a contract so I got a two-year deal with an unlimited data plan. After taxes, the phone came to $214. I saw a couple of people buying several G1s at a time.

It took around a minute for the phone to connect to the Google Gmail server and get up and running. The 3G signal appears strong both around 23rd street and around our Canal Street offices, but going home to Brooklyn will be the real test of that coverage.

So far I have no complaints with the phone -- it is as smooth as the demo units I tried at the launch event. I've barely had time to tinker with it yet, however. The only drag was that the phone couldn't read my elderly SIM card, nor could the store SIM card reader. So I've gotta type all my contacts in by hand, dammit.

The main complaint that others seemed to have was that the T-Mobile staff wouldn't sell them one without a contract. I'll report back if I have any major technical hitches.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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