T-Mobile Android G1 phones priced at $179, launch Oct. 22
Google's two founders appeared on stage this morning at T-Mobile's launch event for the G1 phone, describing it as essentially a smaller laptop computer that isn't too much trouble to carry with you.
NEW YORK, NY (BetaNews) - At the T-Mobile G1 launch event, executives announced the launch date for the G1 Android-based phone in the US will be October 22. November is the scheduled month for the European launch, though a specific day has not been mentioned.
Executives revealed that the carrier will be offering two unlimited data package plans with the G1, priced at $25 and $35 per month. The $25 plan is for unlimited messaging, while the $35 plan adds the Web and other Internet-based services. These plans will be in addition to the $179 base price for the G1 phone.
T-Mobile executives confirmed Wi-Fi will be included with all G1s.
"What gives me pleasure with the launch of G1 is that I'm a bit of a geek," said Google's Sergey Brin, appearing at today's launch event (surprising absolutely no one). "It's very exciting to me as a computer geek to have a phone. I can play with and innovate with, just as I did with computers as a kid."
"This is as good a computer as you could have [just] a few years ago," added Google's other co-founder, Larry Page. "It's kind of difficult to carry your laptop with you at all times."
Cole Brodman, T-Mobile's chief technology and innovation officer, told attendees he expected the G1 to be more of a consumer device than a business device, although he was certain mobile workers would want to use it as well. He did not go further to say whether an Android-based business phone was in the works.
How will the G1's Gmail differ from Gmail on other non-Android phones, as well as from the Mail service on Apple's iPhone, one reporter asked. The two key differentiators Brodman mentioned were a much quicker search function, and the first-ever mobile implementation of Google Talk Presence -- a function which currently enables Google's Talk IM users to determine each other's availability and location.
Andy Rubin, Google's senior director of mobile platforms, told attendees that the final 1.0 release of the Android source code would be released to the open source community sometime in November, obviously several weeks after the G1 phone is already publicly available in the US. UPDATE: Despite that statement, later in the day, Android's developers officially declared the 1.0 edition of the Android SDK. Developers said this release will not remain static, of course, although it was apparently a little awkward to plan a commercial phone's final release to a time prior to its SDK's finalization.
A T-Mobile spokesperson told BetaNews this afternoon that the G1 would clearly be the first of several Android-endowed phones that the carrier will bring to market, though for now, little more is being said about those models.