T-Mobile has announced the international launch of the world’s first Android-powered mobile phone in partnership with Google.
The new T-Mobile G1, manufactured by HTC, combines a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigator with a mobile web experience that includes Google products such as Google Maps Street View, Gmail and YouTube among others. Web pages can be zoomed in and out by tapping on the screen.
The device will also sync a user’s e-mail, calendar and contacts from Gmail as well as most other POP3 or IMAP mail services. It also has a three megapixel camera.
The T-Mobile G1 comes preloaded with a new application developed by Amazon.com that gives customers access to Amazon MP3, Amazon.com’s digital music download store with more than six million DRM-free MP3 tracks. The T-Mobile G1 will be the first device with the Amazon MP3 mobile application pre-loaded.
T-Mobile customers in the U.S. have the opportunity to pre-order the T-Mobile G1 online, which is available in limited supply from today.
The device will then be available at select T-Mobile retail stores and online in the US beginning October 22, for a price of $179 (£96.51) with a two-year voice and data agreement. The T-Mobile G1 will also be available in the UK from November free on £40 contracts and across Europe in Q1 2009. Countries include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
T-Mobile USA chief technology and innovation officer Cole Brodman said: "The internet and the mobile phone are both indispensable tools for our hectic lives, but only a fraction of us access the Web on our phones. The T-Mobile G1 is our opportunity in the US to accelerate the mass adoption of the mobile web, by unleashing Google innovation with a unique software experience that mobilises the Google services hundreds of millions of consumers rely on every day."
Senior director of mobile platforms for Google Andy Rubin said: "Today’s news signifies an important first step for the Open Handset Alliance: with Android, we’ve opened the mobile web not only for millions of users, but also to mobilize the developer community that understands the next most important platform in the world rests in the palm of our hand."
The T-Mobile G1 is also the first phone to provide access to Android Market, where customers can find and download applications to personalize their phone. Android market applications include ShopSavvy, where users can scan the bar code of a product with their phone’s camera while they are shopping, and can instantly compare prices from online merchants and nearby local stores; as well as Ecorio to help people keep track of their carbon footprint.