Queues for Google’s UK debut


Google’s UK mobile phone debut this morning (October 30) saw queues form outside T-Mobile stores in central London.

Gadget enthusiasts started to queue outside T-Mobile’s flagship Oxford Street store after 5am to purchase the new G1 handset, the first device to run on Google’s open source Android operating system and tied exclusively to the T-Mobile network in the UK.

Scenes did not quite match the queues that formed at O2, Carphone Warehouse and Apple stores across the UK for the launch of the mobile industry’s other big recent ‘event’ handsets, the Apple iPhone in November last year and the Apple iPhone 3G in July this year.

But witnesses said queues in London were, nevertheless, “significant”.

The G1, made by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, is pitched as the ultimate handset for mobile internet usage.

At the same time, the G1 has been criticised by the trade for its bulky form factor, as the debut version of a handset series that will vastly improve in terms of its looks and its broader mobile functionality in the New Year.

The G1 includes a full touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard.

It also offers access to application downloads from the new Android Market. Fifty applications are available to download free at launch.

T-Mobile UK chief executive Jim Hyde said: “With the richest web experience ever seen on a mobile and thanks to the Android Market, the unprecedented ability to make your mobile work just the way you want, the T-Mobile G1 is set to revolutionise the way we use our phones.

“And judging by early reports coming in from our stores today, people are enthusiastically embracing this revolution and signing up for the T-Mobile G1.”