Google phone to cost $179, debut Oct. 22

September 23, 2008 7:17:53 PM PDT
The long awaited Google phone has arrived and is expected to be the first of many. T-Mobile is the first to use Google's Android software platform in a cell phone. Google hopes this is the beginning of a big presence in the wireless world.

T-Mobile and Google chose New York to show off the new phone, called the G1. It's the first to use a new operating system called Android. And its key focus is to boost the number of people using mobile phones to access the internet. Less than one in five people do so.

"Consumers that have a desire to connect and really use the internet have really not found the mobile internet up to this point to be very compelling," says Cole Brodman, the T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer.

The G1 will cost $179 and will be available October 22nd. Google co-founders Sergay Brin and Larry Page point out Android is a so-called open platform, meaning any developer has access to the code for writing new applications.

Google applications like Gmail, maps and street view will be built-in. However, analysts say Google has a more important strategy.

"Google definitely wants to deliver eyeballs to their advertising," says Sebastian Rupley.

Rupley, editorial director of PC Magazine, expects the G1 will be another outlet for Google ads. In exchange, the phone and monthly service some day might be free.

"They end up offering this phone for nearly nothing. The intent being to take all those people and eyeballs, to their advertising network and their services," says Rupley.

A possibility the average mobile phone user finds appealing.

"I would think it would be a game-changer because they're talking about no charges for the customer, free service, so I believe that would be a good thing," says Rajesh Khosla, a mobile phone user.

Other mobile phone makers expect to have Android-based Google phones out later this year or early in 2009.

"It is only going to be on this one carrier for now with this one device, and T-Mobile is the smallest carrier in the U.S. and does have the smallest 3G network, so there are a few things limiting it," says Kent German, a CNET senior writer.

"T-Mobile executives say they expect the G1 will appeal to consumers, rather than to business users. That means competition for the Apple iPhone.

The G1is new competition for Apple's iPhone which issued a warning about its charging chord. The prong has a tendency to stay inside the socket and they are offering a replacement.

ABC7News.com had a Futures Market question about the first Google phone.
Question: When will the G-Phone (Google Phone) come to public market?

This question was created on November 3, 2007.

The possible answers were:
A) Longer than a year (Nov. 4, 2008 or later) -- valued at $93.07
B) Longer than a month, less than 6 months (between Dec. 3, 2007 and May 3, 2008) -- valued at $4.68
C) Longer than 6 months, less than 1 year (between May 3, 2008 and Nov. 3, 2008) -- valued at $2.25 -- CORRECT ANSWER

Link to the ABC7 Futures Market: click here


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