As the launch day approaches for Google’s G1 Android handset, it has emerged that some 1.5 million units have already been pre-ordered by T-Mobile customers. This is no mean feat for the much-touted iPhone-killer, considering that 75 days passed before Apple sold the first million of its touchscreen handset (although, admittedly, the 3G version sold over one million in its first weekend).
While both the official Android carrier T-Mobile and its manufacturer HTC had figured in demand for about 700,000 handsets by the end of 2008, their base stock of 500,000 was completely sold out through pre-order within the first few days of availability, according to www.efluxmedia.com.
So far, reviews for the G1 handset running Google’s Android mobile operating system have been mixed. On the one hand, it is being praised for the customisability and intuitiveness of the OS, while on the other, the lack of multi-touch and accelerometer – combined with a slightly bulky exterior – has disappointed some. However, the overall integration of Google Apps has created much interest and demand for this smart phone.
The G1’s key strength lies in Google’s Android Marketplace, which while giving developers an open marketplace for their applications, will for now only provide free applications with the option for changing this to a pay model sometime in the future.
Android Marketplace is actually quite different from Apple’s App Store in that it has a YouTube-esque approach so developers can upload their applications in a few simple steps and have them ready to download within minutes.
“Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace only after three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it,” said Eric Chu, Google’s mobile platform programme manager
“We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings.”
The Android G1 will go on sale in the US from 22 October, and in the UK from mid-November, but for now Ireland will have to wait until a date sometime in 2009.
By Marie Boran
Pictured:the G1 Google Android handset from T-Mobile and HTC