Play-by-play of the T-Mobile G1 announcement


Google_g1_phoneI unfortunately couldn’t make use of my press invite to this morning’s T-Mobile G1 with Google event. Blame it on logistics with kids, school and such… you know, the little things in life. So the best I can do is hit up the event webcast and give a play-by-play for those who can’t see it… and for as long as the stream holds out. ;) So buckle up, pull the straps tight and let’s see if there’s any interesting Android news that hasn’t already been leaked yet! Watch along with me and see if you hear what I hear… and more importantly ponder what it all means for the mobile space! If all goes well, I’ll have updates galore, so refresh, join in the comments and have fun! Note: we now have a live feed from the event over at GigaOM if you can’t get the T-Mobile stream.11:15 = Very quick wrap up and the audience is being herded downstairs to play with the G1. The event is over; shorter than I would have thought. Light on some details as well, but I suspect the product page is now live or will be shortly. More to follow as I rest my fingers!11:13 = Asking the audience to do a web search on a phone. Big difference between speed of web on phone vs. speed of web on a notebook. Ought to be an interesting test to pit the iPhone vs. the G1 for search.11:10 = Larry Page and Sergey Brin arrive! They seem to be late due to the local street closings. Don’t they use Google Maps / Traffic? ;)

11:08 = Does it handle GMail any differently or add any additional value? Nothing new from the sounds of it. However, GTalk online presence in the phone is there. Sweet! Work with iTunes and Skype? Answer was around audio file formats for iTunes… sounds like no. Same with Skype: not at this time.11:05 = Bluetooth profile question: headset hands-free. A2DP possible in the future. Browser question: same base as Chrome. “Chrome-light” was the explanation. Question on the target audience: who’s it for? Consumers? Business? “Mass appeal”, which makes sense. Google as a brand reaches all audiences.11:04 = More about the SIM-lock question. The device is subsidized, hence it’s locked to T-Mobile. Nothing new here, folks. (Let the jailbreakers begin!)11:02: Push e-mail support? Yes! Any desktop app for data and application sync? Nope; it’s all on the device and over the air11:01 – Question about modem tethering: not for use as a modem. Will require a voice plan. How about Microsoft Office support? Reads Word, PDF, Excel. No native Exchange compatibility. Device is SIM-locked to T-Mobile.11:00 = European availability: UK, early November. Across Europe in early 2009.10:58 = Pricing = $179. Existing T-Mo customers can order today. October 22nd is the commercial launch date. Two data plans to choose from: $25 unlimited web/limited messaging. $35 adds unlimited messaging.10:50 = Zooming on the browser looks more like a a combo between Opera Mobile and Safari. A zoom area appears when you touch the screen then zooms in when you let go. Interesting. Seems like a very short focus on the device and features at this point.10:57 = Highlighting third-party teams that developed apps to track your carbon footprint and a barcode scanner that offers product pricing and info.10:52 = Enough with the video demo. Discussion on the open nature of the platform and how it benefits developers. Android Marketplace and third-parties will drive innovation.10:45 = Device overview starts on video. Screen swipes like we’ve seen before. Tap and hold screen for more options. Kinetic scrolling. One-click Amazon MP3 purchases. Nice ties into the Google systems for more info on songs and such. Auto-rotate of the screen when you flip it out. Maps integration (duh!) with Street View. Compass-mode combines Street View and GPS: turn the phone and Street View turns.10:37 = Andy Rubin from Google on stage: “developers can use the platform or modify the platform”. Very different from the iPhone in that regard.10:35 = Deutsche Telecom on stage. “Mobile Internet is the dominant trend in the industry.” Margins from data are growing fast. Connectivity and data are mentioned over and over… voice: not at all. Makes me wonder about VoIP on this device for the future.10:32 = New platform, device, system and services. This is an eco-system is the message to me, not just a phone.10:30 = Started right on time! T-Mobile is on stage discussing world-wide connectivity. Fitting that Google is one of the most global brands there is.10:27 = While we wait for the big news, why not learn four things about T-Mobile’s 3G service?10:26 = Hey, they’ve got a little country music for entertainment! They knew I’d be here. ;)10:20 = T-minus ten minutes for T-Mobile and Google Android.


Matt Propst

Anyone else having issues getting to info about the phone on the Tmobile site? Keeps timing out for me.


I don’t get the keyboard placement of this phone. The bottom side of phone will get in the way when using keyboard.

Kevin C. Tofel

Sumocat: I completely agree with your assessment. This was about the platform, not the device or product. Much as I suspected last week. When asked at the event about supported Bluetooth profiles, the answer was handsfree/headset. I *suspect* that the device currently will only support HFP & HSP. Probably not a T-Mo decision, but that’s just an educated guess.

i seriously hope that the missing tethering is a t-mobile decision and not some limitation on the bluetooth support.


Fernando: This struck me as more of an industry unveiling than a product announcement. The focus on the ecosystem. The brief run-through of the device itself. It felt like a big geek-out session to me, which I enjoy but it doesn’t make for a good product announcement. I would expect a consumer-focused launch when the device hits the market.

Gavin Miller

It has PacMan so I’m sold! I noticed a few things that bother me, no tethering, no Exchange Support but I’m sure these will come via 3rd parties, although they did seem a bit cagey on the tethering bit.

Oh, and no desktop sync application.


Hmmm, why isn’t the G1 annoucement on T-Mobile’s web site? They should be publicizing this more visibly…

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