The "Google Phone," more accurately known as the T-Mobile G1 phone, powered by Google's Android operating system, has finally gone on sale. It doesn't feel like an iPhone release because it's not a game-changer in the same way, as David Pogue points out in his T-Mobile G1 review:
The G1 is quite obviously intended to be an iPhone killer. Assessing its success, however, is tricky, because it's the sum of three parts. Google wrote the software, HTC made the phone and T-Mobile provides the network. What you really need is separate reviews of each.
If its effects are to be anywhere near as strong as those of the iPhone, we won't know until more phones operating on Android have been put out in the market. Kyocera Wireless, for example, announced Tuesday it would be developing its own Android phone.
All the same, there are some people who are very excited for the first Google phone:
About 150 buyers lined up ahead of the launch at the 699 Market Street store, which sported a festive look with a juggler, a stiltwalker and a small band. The G1 will be available nationwide starting Wednesday.
Christopher Laddish -- whose contract with Verizon runs out Wednesday -- was first in line and waited seven hours for the privilege. At least.
"I am in the market for a new device and I have been waiting months for this," said Laddish, a 26-year-old San Francisco State University journalism student.
The Google phone basics:
Google is jumping into the mobile phone business with its new G1 phone. The G1 is available starting today for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.
The new gadget features a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and a trackball.