Android Has Landed: Live From The T-Mobile G1 Launch Event

After nearly a year of hype and anticipation today T-Mobile, Google, and HTC have come together to announce the T-Mobile G1.  We’re here live at the press conference and will be bringing you full details of the device and applications as they’re announced. Speaking at today’s event are:

  • Cole Brodman, Chief Technology and Innovation Office, T-Mobile USA
  • Christopher Schlaffer, Group Product and Innovation Office, Deutsche Telekom
  • Andy Rubin, Senior Director of Mobile Platforms, Google
  • Peter Chou, CEO, HTC

The press conference will run from 10:30 to 11:15 AM, followed by a product showcase from 11:15 to 1:00 PM. Stay tuned. Christopher Schlaffer, Deutsche Telekom: kicking things off. Today we’re launching world’s first Android phone. (We knew that). Will have robust wireless Internet and rich services. Wants to put an end to walled gardens and closed portals. Wants to make open mobile Internet happen. Taking partnership with Google to another level by being founding member of Open Handset Alliance. T-Mobile International is committed to open industry platforms. Andy Rubin, Google: Internet provides collaboration and openness. Developer can use G1 as a platform. Developer can even modify platform and make it better. Because it’s open it’s somewhat futureproof. Introducing Peter Chou from HTC. Peter Chou, HTC: Congratulating Andy for vision and execution. Took tremendous effort to make OHA happen. Giving props to T-Mobile as well. HTC wants to make mobile Internet, practical, relevant, and fun. Worked with Google to develop iconic design to optimize mobile Internet experience. With touch and keyboard should appeal to wide variety of people. Android is nimble, flexible, powerful (slight dig at Windows Mobile?) Cole Brodman, T-Mobile: Why now? What’s been lacking is compelling applications and services for 3G. Mobile Internet penetration lags at only 16 percent. Hasn’t been compelling up to this point. Going to embrace third parties to make mobile Internet better. (Here comes the device.) Stay tuned for photos. Saying we’ll be able to play with the device later. Rolling video of things you can do with G1. Can long press to launch features using photos. Can frame pictures and drop to home screen. Made music easier with Amazon MP3 with one-click ordering of DRM-free MP3s. “Terrific” music player. G1 multitasks so you don’t miss a thing. G1 is a powerful communicator with a slide-out keyboard. Instant messaging built in. Click on an address and get map instantly. Traffic and Street View included. With compass mode and scene moves as you do. Browser looks simple to navigate and has tabbed feature. Siimple to share pages via e-mail. Android Market makes it easy to get applications. Pac-Man being shown. 10:51 Brodman now turning focus to applications. We believe third parties will drive the innovation along with partners and key manufacturers. Android Community video rolling with various developers taling about virtues of open source. (Ecorio, ShopSaver) There’s no third party that’s going to say that you can’t do that. (Another Apple dig.) 10:57 Device will cost $179. Available Oct. 22nd. By launch 3G will be live in 21 markets and 27 markets by November. 10:59: Rubin says Google will go broader with features and functionality for Android in the next couple of years and G1 is just first step. Q&A Highlights:

  • Will not be able to use as tethered modem and can’t get only a data plan.
  • Can read read Word, Excel documents. Exchange support not on board but could be enabled by third parties.
  • Will be SIM-locked to T-Mobile.
  • Gmail is push experience.
  • Not a desktop application included for syncing.
  • Will be available outside 3G areas and encouraging Wi-Fi usage in those areas.
  • Google and T-Mobile will have integrated marketing plan. Will be biggest marketing campaign ever for a mobile device.
  • Does not support A2DP Bluetooth, so no stereo support!
  • Device should have mass appeal, especially consumers. Not necessarily enterprise.
  • Gmail is pretty robust experience, including threading and search capability.
  • G1 represents first implementation of online presence inside the phonebook. No Skype capability at launch.
  • Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are on stage!
  • They like reading their e-mail and “doing all sorts of things on it.” Brin was talking about how his first program for the phone timed how long it took for it to fall after he threw it in the air. Both look like they just woke up.
  • Larry Page is telling us the G1 “is as good as a computer was you had a few years ago.” They are going to have someone in the crowd do a Web search to time how long it takes. Page is claiming the speed difference using a laptop and a phone is still pretty big, but we’re going to see a lot of really interesting things.
AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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