According to reports, T-Mobile's historic G1 is no longer for sale. We can call it historic, right? After all, the G1 ranks as the world's first Android handset in mass form, and it was the first to truly challenge Apple's magical iPhone as the must-have smartphone, at least before Jobs and company fluxored the antennae and challenged themselves.
Perhaps more importantly, the G1 solidified Google's Android OS as a bona fide mobile platform, one that is now found on dozens of other smartphones and is arguably the fastest growing OS on the market right now. The Android Market now sits at over 70,000 apps strong, getting ever closer to that 100,000 milestone. And it all started with the G1.
Hit the jump to find out why I'm not too terribly broken up to see the G1 go.
T-Mobile customers growing increasingly discontent with their G1 smartphones have only a little while longer to hold out until Samsung's Galaxy S makes a splash, which looks like it will ship about a week ahead of schedule.
"I am told that our retail partners should be getting it the 15th as well, but individual stores may vary," T-Mobile announced on its Twitter page.
One of the more anticipated smartphones coming to market, the Galaxy S is shipping to all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, albeit under different names. At T-Mobile, the Galaxy S is called the Samsung Vibrant and will sell for $200 with a 2-year service contract.
Some specs include a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 5MP camera, 720p HD video recording, micro USB port, and Android 2.1. For T-Mobile customers, the Vibrant will also come pre-loaded with the movie Avatar and The Sims 3 Collector's Edition game.
Everyone has been expecting this could happen at any moment, but late on Monday Google finally began a full scale rollout of Android 2.2 (Froyo) to Nexus One users. Previously, a small number of users got updates, but these were of an earlier non-final build. The update will arrive in the form of an over-the-air update automatically downloaded to the phone. Both AT&T and T-Mobile flavors of Google's superphone have been receiving the update.
It has been over a month since Google showed off Froyo at Google I/O, and some users were beginning to become anxious for the update. Android 2.2 brings such improvements as Adobe Flash support in the browser, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, and automatic app updates. Google said in a statement that all Nexus handsets should be updated by late this week.
The new version of the mobile OS will still need to be modified by various carriers to be released on other handsets. Phones running skins like HTC Sense and MotoBLUR are in for longer waits. Any Nexus users out there still waiting for the update? Those unwilling to wait, should be able to manually install the update, but proceed with caution.
Forget about getting your dad a new tie for Father's Day or some other lame gift, T-Mobile wants you to think about getting him a smartphone instead. To help nudge you in that direction, the wireless carrier is offering every phone in every T-Mobile store for free this Saturday, June 19, 2010.
"For this very special day celebrating dad and the entire family, T-Mobile is thrilled to offer an industry-first promotion that helps families stay connected," said Adrian Hurditch, vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. "This unprecedented event champions dad and helps families stick together with the latest phones — all for free."
Naturally there are some strings attached. The offer is only valid at T-Mobile owned and operated locations, and it requires either signing a two-year contract on a family plan, or adding a new line to an existing plan. In addition, the promotion is good only while supplies last, so if you're hoping to snag an HTC HD2 or myTouch 3G Slide, you'll want to show up early.
Rolling out of T-Mobile this week is the Garminfone, which as you might have guessed is both a smartphone and GPS. Asus had a hand in building the device, opting to stuff a Qualcomm MSM7227 processor (600MHz) into the 4.57 inch x 0.5 inch by 2.46 inch smarthpone rather than the far sexier Snapdragon chip clocked at 1GHz.
Other design decisions include a 3.5-inch display with a 320 x 480 resolution, 4GB of internal memory, and a 3 megapixel camera. Living up to its namesake, the Garminfone comes with extensive navigation features with turn-by-turn directions, voice, weather, traffic, and gas prices, and you can even record your own custom voices as navigation prompts with Garmin Voice Studio.
Unlike other smartphones, where GPS is typically tacked on as an afterthought, the opposite holds true for the Garminfone - it's primarily a GPS with smartphone capabilities. Layered on top of Android is a custom home screen, though it does come preoloaded with Google Mobile Services giving you instant access to Google Calendar, Gmail, YouTube, and GoogleTalk.
The Garminfone is available now for $200 after $50 mail-in-rebate card and with a 2-year service agreement.
A leaked document seems to indicate that T-Mobile is gearing up for a big promotion on June 19th. On that day, the carrier could be offering all their phones for free with a new two year contract. The document itself is a script for a commercial in which an employee is explaining that all phones are free, even the new MyTouch 3G Slide and Garminfone.
Many consumers are heavily swayed by the price of the phone itself. Despite the fact that the total cost of ownership over the two year contract probably runs into the thousands, many just won't drop $200 on a high-end phone. If this promotion happens, T-Mobile could move a ton of smartphones. It makes sense for the carrier. They make a killing on expensive data plans at $30 per month.
We suggest any of you up for a renewal should wait and see if this truly comes to pass. How much does the initial cost of a phone matter to you?
T-Mobile has announced a new expansion of their HSPA+ data network. Now residents of several cities in Upstate New York, Connecticut, and Rode Island can get that high speed goodness. This adds to several existing markets including the Washington DC area and Philadelphia. T-Mobile has stated they plan to have the majority of their network upgraded to HSPA+ by the end of the year.
The cell carrier is claiming that HSPA+ offers 4G-like speeds. The updated data standard is capable of speeds up to 21Mb/s, but as is common with wireless technologies, the actual throughput is much less. HSPA+ is usually capable of download speeds of 2-6Mb/s. This is still in the vicinity of some WiMAX tests under the right conditions. T-Mobile has not yet announced any plans to move the a fourth gen technology, but is instead sticking with this 3.5G standard for the time being.
Do you have access to HSPA+ in your area? If so, let us know what sort of speeds you're seeing.
Taking a design cue from the popular SideKick, T-Mobile today announced the myTouch 3G Slide smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen.
"Many smartphones are increasingly powerful in their features and specifications without continuing to improve the main reason that so many people have mobile phones - the ability to communicate with each other," said Andrew Sherrard, vice president of product development, T-Mobile USA. "The new myTouch 3G Slide is a smart and sleek phone that fits into your pocket, your budget and your family life with exclusive T-Mobile features that put communication with your closest family and friends front and center."
The myTouch 3G Slide comes built around Google's Android 2.1 platform, giving it instant street cred. Other features include a 3.4-inch HVGA touchscreen display with virtual keyboard, 5MP camera, pre-installed 8GB microSD memory card, 3.5mm jack, and a whole bunch of customized apps like the Faves Gallery (social aggregrator for your contacts), myModes (profile manager for changing the phone's themes and settings based on time and location), Swype Keyboard, and more.
T-Mobile will offer the myTouch 3G in black, white, or red starting in June for an as yet undetermined price.
With data usage on mobile devices skyrocketing, the onus is now on the carriers to bring their mobile data strategies up to speed with the times. Take for instance the all too familiar 5GB/month data cap, which appears totally out of place in a world where smartphones are increasingly delivering a PC-like browsing experience and, consequently, pushing bandwidth consumption upwards.
T-Mobile's 3G coverage map might leave quite a bit to be desired, but hey, it's not all bad news for T-Mobile subscribers. For the next six months, Aircell is offering free Gogo Inflight Internet service to owners of T-Mobile USA's new HTC HD2 smartphone.
"Aircell is constantly striving to partner with companies that can enrich the inflight experience," said Aircell President and CEO Michael Smith. "With the newest smartphone from T-Mobile, we can provide our customers with a simple, yet powerful way to stay connected, even at 35,000 feet."
To access the service, HTC HD2 users need only select the Gogo Inflight Internet bookmark under the "Favorites" menu and register to kick off the free service period. The offer is valid for up to six months or until June 30, 2011, whichever comes first.
According to Aircell, 30 percent of visitors access the Gogo Inflight Portal from Wi-Fi enabled smartphones. Gogo is now available on more than 760 commercial aircraft and more than 2,600 daily flights in the U.S., with pricing starting at $4.95 per session.