For some weird reason, I’m incredibly excited for the G1 (aka. Gphone), not so much about how the device can be compared to Apple’s Iphone, but mostly for the things that the Android software will be able to provide.
And I wonder, if this one is called G1, will the following generations or upgrades, be called G2, G3? (For some reason I sense Toei writers smirking a lot for the amount of gadgets with G prefix in their current Super Sentai show, Go-onger. Must be good for merchandise sales).
The Android platform will offer Google applications such as Google Maps with street view, push Gmail, and YouTube that’s integrated into the device. There’s also one-touch access to the Amazon MP3 store, allowing you to download music directly to the phone. We’ll have a hands-on with it later today, but you’ll be able to pick one of these bad boys up starting on October 22 for $179.
Analysts said that the G1 did not represent the kind of revolutionary change in design and function that Apple introduced last year with the iPhone. But the G1 is likely to further accelerate two trends that will have a lasting impact on the wireless industry: the growing use of the Internet on the go, and the ability of consumers to customize their phones with their favorite functions.
Wonder when will it finally be available overseas. The Iphones for instance are only officially porting here in Brazil next month today, the two companies which will be providing official service and retail of the devices, have just announced the different service packs you can acquire. The competition is getting so fierce, that the scheduled simultaneous release events for today.
The G1, which is made by the Taiwanese electronics maker HTC, has a large color touch screen that slides out to expose a full keyboard. It also has a 3-megapixel camera, G.P.S. navigation, Wi-Fi access and an Internet browser. It will sell for $179, or $20 less than the iPhone, with a two-year voice and data plan.
I remember seeing some phone from HTC back in November last year, when I was back in Taiwan, that already started the work to compete with Apple, so the real differentiating point from G1, is really the Android software.
While the G1 is expected to compete with high-end smartphones like the iPhone and the BlackBerry line of devices made by Research in Motion, Google’s aims are far different from those of its rivals.
Google makes the Android software available for free to carriers and handset makers who want to use it to power their own devices. Google hopes that many will choose to do so, populating the market with mobile phones that have easy access to Google’s services. Just as it does on the PC-based Internet, Google hopes to earn money from advertising.
“For Google, Android is a cash drain,” said James Faucette, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. “They are going to lose money on Android as an operating system. They hope to make it up from the services that they are delivering through their infrastructure and servers.”
While Google is betting on the success of Android, it also stands to benefit from the success of other smartphones, as their owners tend to surf and search the Internet much more actively than users of less advanced phones. Indeed, Google said earlier this year that its mobile service received a disproportionate amount of traffic from iPhone users.
“We want people out there to use the Internet on their phones a lot,” Mr. Brin said in an interview. “It actually doesn’t matter if it is Android, the iPhone or something else.”