Google's new phone debuts

October 21, 2008 7:20:05 PM PDT
The iPhone is about to face a challenge from the much anticipated new Google G1 phone, which hits T-Mobile stores nationwide on Wednesday.

But the San Francisco store at Third and Market is the only place you can buy it today, a day in advance. About 100 people lined up outside to get the new phone.

Here's what Google and T-Mobile face: Apple just made the announcement that they had sold nearly seven million iPhones in the last quarter, which Steve Jobs calls "spectacular."

But Google and T-Mobile say they will face this challenge.

Here it is with all of its bells and whistles -- Google's G1. T-Mobile says there has been a lot of interest in the new phone.

But the line of people waiting is nothing like the iPhone campout.

"We're not going to see nearly the excitement around this phone we did around the iPhone. Some of that is Apple's brilliant marketing," said computer industry analyst Larry Magid.

There's been no advertising of the G1 yet. But the buzz is building.

"I'm not crazy with my iPhone and ironically my plan with my current carrier expires today," said Christopher Laddish from San Francisco.

The phone is packed with a lot of features that consumers will like. It's friendly.

"The biggest advantage of the phone is it has a touch screen and a keyboard," said a James Bishop from T-Mobile.

So you have options. But the phone is really focused on internet access with Google's android software. It's like a personal computer you can carry in your pocket.

"This is really about Google services like Google's Gmail. It's really a way for Google to promote its services," Magid.

Want to go shopping? It's easy. Android has the advantage of an open platform, which means its expansion capabilities are unlimited.

"Developers have the ability to resign applications for this device without any restrictions, actually designed with them in mind," said Bishop.

So, how experts think the Google phone will fare?

"This isn't a sprint, this is a marathon. The key is to get market share over a period of time," said Magid.

If you want Internet access, then this might be the phone for you. You can get it for $179 with a two-year contract available at T-Mobile.


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