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Is Anyone Buying T-Mobile's Googlephone?

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the maybe-one-day dept.

Cellphones 454

Hugh Pickens writes "Laura Holson writes in the NY Times that she 'wandered down to the T-Mobile store at Ninth Ave. and 43rd St. in New York City to see what kind of crowds — if any — were lining up to buy the new T-Mobile G1 which went on sale Wednesday' and saw no lines out the door, no crowding at the counter, and a complete lack of crowds. The iPhone appears to still be the gold standard and Etan Horowitz writes that the G1 'doesn't do a great job showcasing its potential. It isn't as intuitive as the iPhone, and it may take average users a while to figure out basic and advanced shortcuts and features' and 'may appeal more to techies who value open-source products and don't mind a somewhat steep learning curve.' Part of the reason for slow interest may also be that T-Mobile's 3G high-speed data network won't be up and running in many cities until the end of the year."

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Because they're not Apple (5, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | about 6 years ago | (#25486481)

Probably because T-Mobile and Google don't have the Apple hype-machine/blogosphere/rumor sites going insane over unreleased products?

Re:Because they're not Apple (5, Insightful)

Zader (814402) | about 6 years ago | (#25486539)

Probably because T-Mobile and Google don't have the Apple hype-machine/blogosphere/rumor sites going insane over unreleased products?

Yup, because google doesn't know anything about advertising ...

Re:Because they're not Apple (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | about 6 years ago | (#25486733)

My point is that it is beyond advertising. Apple doesn't need to anything (like not comment on a rumor) and it's the talk of the world.

Plus I've never seen an ad the Googlephone...

reputation (2, Funny)

Brigadier (12956) | about 6 years ago | (#25487209)

I think what your trying to say is Apple has a reputation for 'cool' innovation. They don't do mondain and they don't do what's been done before.

Google to the common folk is a search engine, albeit an awesome one but still it's just a search engine.

When I watched the add I could see it quite easy for someone to think the phone was just another iPhone look alike with access to google.

Re:Because they're not Apple (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#25487421)

Is the Android supposed to be competing with the iPhone?

They've just come out with absolutely no marketing push and Apple is already crowing?

I remember when Sony was tip-top. Walkmen and Trinitron and VAIO, etc etc. Now there's nothing with a Sony nameplate that I would own. Not one thing.

Hey, how're Apple and Google stock prices today?

Re:Because they're not Apple (4, Insightful)

entgod (998805) | about 6 years ago | (#25486993)

Yes but have you actually seen an android phone ad? I sure haven't.

Re:Because they're not Apple (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486773)

In Prague Apple paid students to form crowds for iPhone. Is it different in the States? How do you know that Apple didn't pull this trick to gain attention there too?

Re:Because they're not Apple (-1, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | about 6 years ago | (#25487135)

This are americans, my friend. They actually think George Bush won his elections.

Go figure.

Re:Because they're not Apple (0, Troll)

progrmr (1212662) | about 6 years ago | (#25487431)

Good lord - you idiots exist even outside the US?? Our system isn't perfect but its the best in the world, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Re:Because they're not Apple (0, Offtopic)

alexborges (313924) | about 6 years ago | (#25487485)

Oh dont be so bitter.

Its the perfect time to beat on bush hard.

Re:Because they're not Apple (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 6 years ago | (#25486791)

Probably because T-Mobile and Google don't have the Apple hype-machine/blogosphere/rumor sites going insane over unreleased products?

Without a doubt. However, it's not like these phones have reviewed exceptionally well.

Re:Because they're not Apple (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#25487045)

Actually, it seems like it has a lot of potential. It actually does review pretty well, as well.

However, I don't think google intends to pay people to make false hype.

Re:Because they're not Apple (5, Interesting)

ciaohound (118419) | about 6 years ago | (#25487161)

I thought Walt Mossberg [] was pretty positive about it, and the gyst was that this really is a handheld computer. I have neither a G1 nor an iPhone, but I'm watching them closely. I'm a math teacher, and I would love to have a handheld Wifi-equipped computer to just slide under an overhead projector and demo stuff to my students. (Yeah, as if they don't all already have iPhones! Actually, only a few do.) The G1 lacks enough storage for me, but the data plan is more attractive. The iPhone has the storage but the data plan is a potential nightmare. Maybe an iPod Touch... Anyway, I'd expect the G1 and iPhone to converge in terms of features and data plans over the next few releases.

At any rate, I love seeing real competition in this space, AND neither is Microsoft. I expect the success of the iPhone and G1 to show my students and colleagues that there are alternatives to Windows.

Re:Because they're not Apple (1)

sfbanutt (116292) | about 6 years ago | (#25487221)

Storage shouldn't be a problem. It has a microSD slot and you can pick up a 16Gb card for about $20 US if you shop around a bit. Just because it comes with a 1Gb card doesn't mean you're limited to that size...

Needs a better name (5, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 6 years ago | (#25486883)

A better name would probably help, too.

Customer: "What do you have to compete against the sexiness of the iPhone?"
T-Mobile: "We have just the thing... a GOO-Phone!"
Customer: ...

Re:Because they're not Apple (5, Informative)

vivin (671928) | about 6 years ago | (#25486983)

Maybe it's also because instead of buying it from the store a lot of people bought it online?

In fact take a look at this [] , where G1's were sold out when T-Mobile let people order it online.

I ordered one from T-Mobile, and a lot of my friends have as well. Granted, we're developers, but now that my other non-developer/non-geek friends and family have seen my phone, they want to get one as well.

And honestly, I don't even know where this guy came up with the "steep learning curve" and the "basic and advanced features". People I gave the phone to play with didn't seem to have a hard time figuring out how to get around. It's not like you need to be a rocket scientist to figure stuff out. Yeah, it's geared to the developer community but that's only reflected in the openness of the OS and the SDK, and not the phone or the interface itself. It's not like you don't need to drop into the commandline to work this phone.

I also think that instead of relying on hype and drooling at the mouth fanboys, Google is just relying on people buying the phone, using it, and talking to their friends and family about it.

Re:Because they're not Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487477)

I thought I was the only one that realized the fact that you don't have to buy the G1 from the store.

Nokia isn't Apple, either . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 years ago | (#25487053)

The N96 went on sale here at the beginning of the month, and I saw zilch on advertising. I bought one, because I already have an aging N90 and an excellent, way-cool, just plain fun, N800.

The main interest for me is the better camera on the N96.

But despite my credentials, that would position me as a Nokia fan-boy, I am really not that impressed with it ... yet ... maybe I need to fiddle with it a bit more.

That I am not impressed with it, and that Nokia doesn't seem to be advertising it (at least in my country) ... makes me want to go, "Hmmm ..."

Huh????? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 6 years ago | (#25487185)

"Google don't have the Apple hype-machine/blogosphere/rumor sites going insane over unreleased products?"
  Yea... Goggle doesn't have the Apple hype-machine/blogsphere/rumor sites....

Google has the Google hype-machine/blogsphere/rumor sites....
I think the problem has a lot more to do with T-Mobile than with the phone.
T-Mobile is a very good carrier but they are not equal to AT&T or Verizon.
Also the iPhone wasn't the first ipodish phone. AT&T made a deal with Apple and Motorola to produce an phone that worked with ITunes. That phone didn't set the world on fire but I think it got people interested in the iPhone.

probably because it's not *innovative* (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 6 years ago | (#25487195)

Probably because T-Mobile and Google don't have the Apple hype-machine/blogosphere/rumor sites going insane over unreleased products?

Er...or it could be that the G1 just isn't innovative or unique.

Seriously, what's unique about it?

  • An exciting new technology for distributing certified applications for your mobile phone? WOW! That's new, I stand corre...Oh, here's Mr. iPhone and his friend the iTunes App Store.
  • Gmail on your phone? Every other smartphone does that, including my Jesusphone and a bazillion blackberries.
  • Google Ma...yes, there too.
  • Push/pull e-ma...yeah, everyone does that.
  • Yout...oops, the iPhone has that too!
  • A spiffy touch-sensitive-glass surface? No, it's a stylus interface. Hi, Palm called, said 2000 called and wants its smartphone back.
  • Open source operating system, WOO HOO! Oh wait, 2001 called and said Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Psion would like Symbian back.

Apple slowly wedged their foot in the door with iTunes and Quicktime and has built upon each success. Meanwhile, Google has been the 500lb gorilla, but given away every product they offer (and made it work on every other cell phone) and there's no compelling reason to buy a Google phone.

Re:probably because it's not *innovative* (4, Informative)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | about 6 years ago | (#25487415)

No, it's a stylus interface. Hi, Palm called, said 2000 called and wants its smartphone back.

Um, no. The G1 has a touch-sensitive (capacitative) touchscreen just like the iPhone.

Re:probably because it's not *innovative* (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 years ago | (#25487439)

The target of Android is technically not the end-user. The target are the phone-makers. Google wants to ensure that there is something out there that will always be able to run Google Apps.

Why would they hype it? (3, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 6 years ago | (#25487205)

The iPhone is Apple's one and only phone and it's on one provider. The G1 is the first phone with Google's Android operating system. In a few months there will probably better Android phones. If Google thinks it has a something really great here, they might as well let the hype build slowly. In fact, they probably want to rely on the phone companies to hype their phones.

I love it (5, Interesting)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | about 6 years ago | (#25486487)

I pre-ordered my G1 and I love it. It's a marriage of a Blackberry and the iPhone and while it's true that there are some differences and a few quirks at get over them real quick. It really is pretty easy to use.

I've started playing with the SDK too and they have it integrated nicely with Eclipse and it's really a very nice set up.

I'm a big fan.

Re:I love it (2, Informative)

Cowmonaut (989226) | about 6 years ago | (#25486503)

My ex-girlfriend bought one yesterday and absolutely loves it. She's already got AIM and other IMs working on it.

Re:I love it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487033)

The important question for you is this: Why do you know what your ex-girlfriend did yesterday? It's time to move on.

Re:I love it (5, Funny)

pavon (30274) | about 6 years ago | (#25487173)

Because she wasn't his ex until yesterday when she dumped him for the phone. That's why I'm not getting one; I just know my computer would do the same. Oh fickle love.

Re:I love it (2, Insightful)

cong06 (1000177) | about 6 years ago | (#25486653)

I'd like to hear more about the quirks...

Re:I love it (3, Informative)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | about 6 years ago | (#25486935)

Well basically the quirks are small things. Like there's currently no way to manage where applications are stored. There's 1 way to do it but it's not intuitive. So there needs to be an app made to handle that.

I haven't really found a way to manage the SIM card information either. Getting all of my contacts was easy but I have no idea how to save a new contact to the SIM card. Again this is probably a simple new application that can be made but it's just not there now.

But I do love it and it really is pretty intuitive overall.

Re:I love it (3, Interesting)

lottameez (816335) | about 6 years ago | (#25487003)

I may get modded down to nothing, but it seems the Google phone is very much like Linux: attractive to techies but a harder sell to consumers.

FWIW, I did a lot of android dev. earlier this year and really like the system - I just doubt the commercial appeal/necessity.

Re:I love it (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 years ago | (#25487287)

Shoot. I got my sidekick a few months ago.. wonder if I can do a "trade-in".

I want my SDK!

T-Mobile's network is useless (4, Interesting)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 6 years ago | (#25486513)

I don't care how good the phone is. T-Mobile's coverage is too sparse to make it attractive.

Re:T-Mobile's network is useless (1)

Rinisari (521266) | about 6 years ago | (#25486647)

I'm worried about this, too. Granted, I have WiFi available at every location I frequent (home, work, girlfriends', etc.) so I can use T-Mobile's T-Mobile@Home thing.

However, out in the sticks, where my parents' live, there's almost no coverage on their map. I don't know if AT&T has 3G coverage out there, but I'm 90% sure that it has 3G coverage in Pittsburgh proper.

Has anyone tried the G1 on AT&T yet?

Re:T-Mobile's network is useless (1)

dcblogs (1096431) | about 6 years ago | (#25487177)

read the fine print in t-mobile's coverage map; If don't mind standing outdoors to make a call in many areas, coverage is pretty good.

Re:T-Mobile's network is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487259)

T-Mobile has coverage?

Re:T-Mobile's network is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487309)

I used to think that too. However, a while ago I decided to switch to a pre-paid plan and T-Mobile had the best deal. I was apprehensive at first because of past experiences of other people years ago but I figured it couldn't hurt to try it because it didn't cost me anything.

After using it for several months I am quite surprised at how good their coverage actually is. It works as well as my Verizon setup ever did which is what I consider having the best coverage of anybody (generally speaking). It seems they have vastly increased their coverage.

Probably depends on where you are though. I haven't tried using it out in the middle of the desert or anything (yet).

"I saw it on TV, it must be true!" (0)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 6 years ago | (#25487331)

I don't care how good the phone is. T-Mobile's coverage is too sparse to make it attractive.

Why, because the funny Verizon actor on the TV set said it was so?

You do realize that all the GSM providers in the US share a good chunk of their towers?

My favorite: the idiots who say "ohmygod, I had an AT&T phone and coverage sucked, I switched to Tmobile and it was SO much better!" SAME. FREAKING. "NETWORK."

Wait wait, let me guess. You have a sample-size-of-one example of how coverage is so much better in ___insert remote location you've been to____ compared to your friend with a different phone. Or there's a deadspot in so-and-so's apartment but not for your provider, etc.

Guess what. Do you have any clue how interchangeable those conversations are? And that "bars" are almost completely picked out of (pardon the pun) thin air?

Yeah well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486515)

Most cell phone users don't know how to use their cameras, or calendar functions, or pair a device to their phones with bluetooth. How many iPhone users have I met who didn't know that their phones had Wifi, or thought that "Wifi" meant their cellular data plans?

I'm not going to base my opinion of a new device on how many people who don't even know how to use their dumb phones get excited about it.

Re:Yeah well... (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 6 years ago | (#25486899)

I don't think the article is calling it crap. It's saying that the phone does not appeal to the average user, which is true. Techies have been drooling over it, but techies are a tiny sliver of the overall market. Most people just want something simple that does a few nifty things and is easy to use.

No wonder it's not selling (5, Funny)

Idaho (12907) | about 6 years ago | (#25486521)

Check out this story where Neil Gaiman tries to buy one [] . Indeed it literally doesn't seem to be selling. As in: you cannot obtain one even if you wanted to.

Re:No wonder it's not selling (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 6 years ago | (#25486931)

Holy hell, I kept imagining that T-Mobile flunkie speaking in an Idiocracy-type voice.

Re:No wonder it's not selling (1)

fraudrogic (562826) | about 6 years ago | (#25487037)

I just didn't understand what the problem was. He went into a store and they said "We're out of the range and the Google and things that the phone comes with, they won't work on it". Yet he said his T-mobile internet access works in that area? I think he was misinterpreting what she was saying. Either that or someone left their mentally challenged siblings in charge of the store while they went to lunch.

I mean, was it a coverage problem? And if so, why didn't he experience this same problem with his current phone?

Re:No wonder it's not selling (2, Interesting)

bmwEnthusiast (1384289) | about 6 years ago | (#25487311)

I can't get one either. I would have dropped sprint in a heartbeat to get a G1 on t-mobile. Last month when I read the announcement (gee i think i read it on /.) I quickly searched for the local t-mobile provider. None in my city! Dratz! Called the next nearest t-mobile store. He said they will sell it but theres no 3G here and the city I live in has no native towers so if I make too many "Roaming" calls they would just cancel my service after a month or two. :( Along with the announcements for it, I did see some articles mentioning Sprint might have an HTC/Android unit for sale around christmas or just after. It will be a happy holidy if so!

so would you prefer thousands of complaints? (4, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 6 years ago | (#25487389)

Check out this story where Neil Gaiman tries to buy one []. Indeed it literally doesn't seem to be selling. As in: you cannot obtain one even if you wanted to.

He was turned away because the vendor was in an area where TMobile decided there wasn't strong enough coverage.

Yes, he's able to fire up Gmail in the store, but that doesn't mean coverage is good enough for their metrics, or the G1 might have a worse antenna. Or maybe Google said "we don't want you to sell this phone where people won't be able to get adequate speed."

Company decides where to market phone for best reception, film at 11.

My co-worker got one (4, Informative)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about 6 years ago | (#25486525)

My co-worker and I shot out to the T-Mobile store on 6th ave and 46th street (or around there somehwere) in Manhattan yesterday and although the place wasn't crowded, every person in there was buying one (about 4).

We got a unit at work to play with a couple months ago and I was pretty impressed with it even though it was a little buggy (touchscreen doesn't always register and sometimes registers in the wrong spots) and flimsy feeling. the problem is the hardware feels like a shitty toy. The screen is great, but the keypad and trackball don't feel nice and the sliding mechanism doesn't feel solid. Handling it, I feel like I'm gonna break it.

The thing about the iPhone is that it's not only has a very shiny UI, but the hardware is made of metal and feels sturdy and reliable. It doesn't feel like a toy like the G1 does.

I'm waiting for an android phone that's compatible with the AT&T network to be released before I make the switch. I haven't been fully satisfied with the iPhone (mostly, I don't like the calendaring application AT ALL), but it beats the AT&T Tilt and the blackjack2 in terms of usability, in my opinion.

Re:My co-worker got one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486909)

One of the reasons there aren't any lines: many people preordered them and had them arrive at their doors the day of release. Why go wait in line when you just have to come home from work and there it is?

Re:My co-worker got one (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 years ago | (#25486997)

> The thing about the iPhone is that it's not only has a very shiny UI, but the hardware is made of metal and feels sturdy and reliable. It doesn't feel like a toy like
> the G1 does.

People said that about the iPod and there have been loads of returns, reports of people having them last less than a year etc. I have toys from 35 years ago which still work.

Re:My co-worker got one (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#25487151)

In reality, every phone feels like a toy if you don't like it.

It's 100% subjective, and reflects on nothing. Some people with big or small hands or fingers feel certain phones feel like a toy. Does that mean they do to the other 99% of the users of said device? No. Does that mean it "feels cheap?" no.

Meanwhile, the apps on this thing alone motivate me to want to get it. I'm trying to sell off my E61i to get a G1.

You Lost Me.. (-1, Troll)

TheNecromancer (179644) | about 6 years ago | (#25486529)

after I read "Laura Holson writes in the NY Times..."

I don't value any opinion from someone who writes for that rag.

Re:You Lost Me.. (2, Funny)

saihung (19097) | about 6 years ago | (#25486577)

The NY Times is a "rag"? Where do you get your news? Smoke signals?

worse (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | about 6 years ago | (#25486841)

Fox News or Rush Limbaugh. He didn't call them part of the driveby media, though, so I'll go with Fox.

Re:You Lost Me.. (1)

viridari (1138635) | about 6 years ago | (#25486915) []

Re:You Lost Me.. (0, Offtopic)

megamerican (1073936) | about 6 years ago | (#25487299) [] is much better!

No, it's open source (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25486531)

We're building our own!

gee, what could the reasons be here? (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#25486547)

1. People don't even know if they'll have jobs next week, would they really be taking on an expensive new phone and plan?
2. There's no absolute media saturation and frenzy over the G1. Apple is very adept at building their marketing campaigns into beasts like self-sustaining fusion reactions that produce more energy than they consume, like firestorms sucking all the oxygen out of the city. Media that doesn't even want to report on tech will end up reporting on the craze surrounding the tech.
3. The G1, while building on the success of Google, isn't coming with quite the same mac/ipod buzz that the iPhone had going with it. Again, this goes back to 2, Apple is building upon the wave of successful hype of previous products.

I hear that RIM is trying to improve upon their berries given all of this competition from Apple and Google. To that I say GREAT! The more competition the better. The last berry I used was a hell of a product but RIM has been floundering for a while now. I want to see them recapture the mojo instead of flaming out like Palm.

Personally, I don't know which phone I'll end up getting. I'm no longer working in a capacity that requires a company phone so I'm not likely to have another berry unless I change jobs. The iPhone is incredibly seductive but the data plan sucks and I don't like it being closed-architecture. I don't yet know enough about the G1 to know whether it'll be a good fit but I like what I've seen so far.

Re:gee, what could the reasons be here? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 6 years ago | (#25486905)

1. People don't even know if they'll have jobs next week, would they really be taking on an expensive new phone and plan?

Small nitpick: The whole country's not going through. Things have slowed down but it's not like everything suddenly stopped.

Re:gee, what could the reasons be here? (1)

Hankenstein (107201) | about 6 years ago | (#25487057)

No, the whole country is not going through it. My job is relatively secure and I am not panicked about
fincances (yet) however, buying a new phone just doesn't seem like a very wise use of money right now.
I am sure the state of the economy factors into many people's purchasing decisions even if they aren't
actually losing their homes.

Re:gee, what could the reasons be here? (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 6 years ago | (#25487013)

1. Yeah, that's why the iPhone is still selling like hotcakes. Newsflash: The economy hasn't died a horrid, painful death. Some people are feeling the pain. Many are doing just fine.

And what's wrong with the iPhone data plan? $30 a month added to any contract gives you unlimited data. You could browse the web 24/7 with that. Jailbreak the thing. Then it's not so closed anymore.

Re:gee, what could the reasons be here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487203)

The $35+ voice plan on top of it that you have to have. Oh, and text messages are an EXTRA charge. It is supposed to be a data plan right?

Fugly (1, Flamebait)

Generic25 (1392527) | about 6 years ago | (#25486581)

Is it only me that thinks the fact it looks like a pigs arse - expecially when compared to the iphone - has something to do with it??

I know why I won't buy it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486599)

It isn't available here in Finland, so... Yeah.

But well, I've never understood that culture in USA... Comparing products based on the day that they come out. Just like with movie theatres there, the most used way to determine if movie is successfull seems to be how well it sells during the first weekend: Before anyone has had the chance to see it and tell others if it is good or not.

I wouldn't think much based on just these days. Also, the "Steeper learning curve" and "Shortcuts might take some time to get used to..."... WTF? Does ANYONE think of those things when buying a phone? "I would buy that but the learning curve is too steep..."? I would understand if it was "The user interface is horrible" but this?

Poor Service (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 6 years ago | (#25486615)

I won't be buying one, because any phone from T-Mobile is no longer in the running for me. They are my current provider, but (unlike every other provider) their service area near me has been shrinking rather than growing. Places I had service last year are now consistently "emergency call only" areas. We're talking about a good quarter of the state. On top of that, they had the nerve to send me advertising text messages telling me how they've expanded their coverage. I am currently contract free, so if another provider comes out with a good Android phone, I'll look into it, but who cares how good it is if it has no service.

Maybe it's the service (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486617)

I like the phone. Tmobile out here however is simply horrible. On their coverage map they just show everywhere the eye can see has awesome coverage, but if you drive around town you find you basically have no service for the most part. At least ATT and verizon both show accurate coverage maps.

Got mine.... and love it! (5, Interesting)

sampson7 (536545) | about 6 years ago | (#25486619)

Got my G1 in the mail the other day. Snazzy interface, good basic functionality, easy to use. Very stylish.

Battery life doesn't seem to be stellar, but the great aps and easy installation make up for it.

Love the smooth keyboard -- which includes a number bar!

The integrated GPS is kick ass.

The only downside is that the network is a little spotty -- but I knew that when I got it.

Prior to the G1, the only options were to continue pining for an Iphone to replace my Blackberry or pay the termination fee with my existing carrier and then switch. Now I'm glad I made the switch and didn't blow the money on terminating my existing T-mobile service.

I can guess why (2, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | about 6 years ago | (#25486625)

Apple has the perception in the eyes of the public of making exciting and innovative products. Part of that could be because it is true and part of it is because of marketing. So when Apple decides to enter a new industry, people get excited.

Now Google may be known for innovating and be a household name, but was the android phone marketed as being connected to Google? Not only than, but Google didn't design the physical phone, just the platform.

Or, to think of it another way, the major selling point for Android is that it is an open source platform for handheld devices. Does the general public get excited over open source? The reason for the lack of excitement over the first Android phone is pretty obvious when you think about it.

T-Mobile people are smarter - (1)

DontScotty (978874) | about 6 years ago | (#25486631)

We pre-ordered our devices and had them shipped to us, rather than waiting in the outdoors, and at the stores.

Mine arrived the day before official release.

It's activated and wonderful.

And, unlike the iPhone - my 3G ROCKS!

Re:T-Mobile people are smarter - (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 6 years ago | (#25486765)

this is what i suspect as well. everyone who would have camped out in line has preordered one instead.
i got mine. i also now have 3 barcode scanners and 20 games... (including a "Set [] " based puzzle game!)

Simple answer (0, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 years ago | (#25486657)

It's quite possibly too late for Android. Apple already has a mature product in place, and has several million users. Another thing working for Apple is that they have the iPod Touch which allows the same platform to be used by people who don't want to switch to AT&T. At the very least, Google should have worked on creating something like an upgraded Nokia N810 that runs Android.

Simple answer - competition (1)

taniwha (70410) | about 6 years ago | (#25486941)

competition - Apple's got no one to compete with - lots of people will be making gphones, competing with each other, and they'll be pushing prices down - which platform do you want to develop software for?

No months of hype == no long lines (3, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#25486695)

Google didn't hype the G1 for months, unlike Apple. And, Google didn't have a launching pad product, aka the iPod.

No lines??? (3, Insightful)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | about 6 years ago | (#25486735)

Of course not, if you ordered one a couple of months ago you would already have it. Instead of madly lining up at some retail shop to buy your new piece of hip candy (and then still have to take the damn thing home to activate it), you can order it and wait for it to be delivered to your door.

Apple does make good products, but they also are very adept at engineering a crowd to harness for marketing purposes.

Marketing Problem? (4, Informative)

excelblue (739986) | about 6 years ago | (#25486761)

I was in line during the day of the pre-release, where the only place you could get one in the world was at the T-Mobile store in the SoMa area of San Francisco. The release was set at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.

When I got there at 6:10pm, the line only extended down the block. It took me approximately two hours before I got to the front of the line. In the mean time, I held a few conversations with the others by me, and it appears that the consensus was: there's not enough apps for the G1 right now - maybe it'll take off in a year or so, but there will be better phones for the platform by then.

I met a large number of *NIX users there who might have very well been other slashdotters. It appears to be that the G1 is in a niche market right now. People don't seem to care that it can be modified, but rather that it has less features and apps compared to the iPhone. Instead, most of the people in line wanted one because of its relatively cheap cost and stability.

Also, the lack of lines may be attributed to how well T-Mobile has handled the release compared to Apple. People were processed in less than three minutes, and there were eight CS reps working at the same time. In fact, the line moved at approximately the speed of a security screening. If the process was done similarly at other stores, there wouldn't have been much of an opportunity for a line to form.

I was an iPhone user (5, Informative)

atari2600 (545988) | about 6 years ago | (#25486777)

Pros of the G1:

1. Usable QWERTY keyboard - texting heaven
2. 3G speeds in my area are ~900kbps
3. The browser feels faster
4. I can upgrade/replace the battery
5. I can put in an 2/4/8/16 gig micro SD
6. Speaker sounds louder
7. Free wifi at T-mobile hotspots
8. Voice activated dialing works decently
9. It's from T-Mobile and I don't have to deal with the evil pricks that are ATT/Cingular (was an ATT customer for almost 7 years)


1. The battery life sucks at the moment
2. Dearth of apps (naturally)
3. The phone gets warm after a few minutes of usage
4. Not a con for me but no stereo bluetooth
5. Complete lack of accessories from T-mobile
6. Gmail goes down, you might have issues from the tight integration (forgot pattern to unlock phone? input your gmail info)
7. The phone has a cheap plastic feel and doesn't feel as solid as the iphone (especially when opening the back panel).
8. 3G coverage is spotty

Both weigh and measure about the same (comparison with a first gen iphone). Both are quad-band.

Re:I was an iPhone user (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#25486907)

    9. No free wifi calling.

Re:I was an iPhone user (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#25486987)

Con: 9. No free wifi calling.


Re:I was an iPhone user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487353)

I have another HTC Phone running Windows Mobile. Even through parts of it have a cheap plastic feel .. like the lid to the battery cover it's actually held up pretty well considering how many times I've dropped it.

Also it might be possible to hack stereo bluetooth into working. I know that by default a lot of phones (especially windows mobile) don't like stereo headsets. A registry update fixes the problem.

I really dislike when I am forced to switch to any specific carrier. I have had Sprint for about 8 years and I rarely ever have problems even though some people like to say that Sprint sucks.

Mini Review (2, Interesting)

spribyl (175893) | about 6 years ago | (#25486793)

I did get one yesterday. I knew I wanted one, just did not know when.
Stopped(on a whim) in at the local store waited an hour and was out the door with one.
There was not iphone rush but I did not thing the hype was a big.

I had very specific needs that the iphone did not do well(ssh, vnc, real keyboard)
Also, know that I usually take the wait and see approach to tech and not an early adopter.
I am very tech savvy

So far I am very pleased. It is mostly intuitive. I am find the menu key/scroll/click awkward.
Can't yet comment about the "Store" but has meet my immediate needs with little fuss.
Still missing backup(pc or sdcard) and sync(to pc not google). This should be easy and obvious it is not so I am still working on it.
Also missing is one touch wifi and bluetooth see palm, they are buried in the settings menu.
Battery life is short in data mode, get a car charge, and one the desk at work.
Some interface tuning is definitely needed.

Re:Mini Review (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 6 years ago | (#25487061)

The iPhone can SSH and VNC just fine with third party apps. I've done both and they're free. The VNC app works surprisingly well. Haven't diddled with SSH much, but how can you screw up SSH?

Re:Mini Review (2, Funny)

stephentyrone (664894) | about 6 years ago | (#25487267)

I did get one yesterday. I knew I wanted one, just did not know when... Also, know that I usually take the wait and see approach to tech and not an early adopter. I am very tech savvy

Wait... what?

You take the wait and see approach to tech, so you went out and bought an completely untested product on launch day?

Re:Mini Review (1)

spribyl (175893) | about 6 years ago | (#25487459)

Yup, Don't usually do that, I had a problem to solve and this did it, and is seemed better then the IPHone. So far I think I made the correct choice.

Just out of curiousity... (1)

realkiwi (23584) | about 6 years ago | (#25486833)

Part of the reason for slow interest may also be that T-Mobile's 3G high-speed data network won't up and running in many cities until the end of the year.

Why would anyone in their right mind buy a phone that can't be used to call?

Re:Just out of curiousity... (2, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#25486957)

It can be used to call. But, the data side is still the old, slow technology.

Re:Just out of curiousity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487355)

Uh, no - the data side is 3G. Just that T-Mo's 3G coverage is a bit new in many places.

If you're out of 3G coverage, then a G1 makes little sense. You can still call, but the niftiest parts of the phone would be useless.

It's the network (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 6 years ago | (#25486887)

The G1 shows a lot of potential but T-mo has nearly zero 3G presence anywhere. 3g has been the next big thing for a long time and I have no clue why they have lagged so much. Another note is that while andriod seems pretty cool the G1 hardware is hardly eye catching or high quality. The next batch of Android powered phones will be better I have no doubt. I just wish Google would have held back till they had a really solid release line.

I bought it (4, Insightful)

joshv (13017) | about 6 years ago | (#25486949)

Not sure what they mean about a non-intuitive interface. What more freakin' intuitive than a physical keyboard?

Is "pinching" intuitive before somebody shows it to you. But I guess it's just an article of faith that anything not done by Apple must, by definition, be less intuitive than the Apple version.

On the useless but cool front - I made a skype-out call from the G1 over my wifi network today. Try that with an iPhone. Granted, it's a phone, so sure, what's the point. But it's good to know that even if I terminate my cell plan, the phone isn't a useless brick.

Where is Skype for Android? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#25487035)

I didn't realize there is a version of Skype for Android. I've checked the Skype website to see if there were any announcements of such a beast, even tried a general Google for Skype for Android, and haven't seen it. Where'd you find Skype for Android? The closest thing I found was something called iSkoot, which doesn't appear to actually use Wifi?

Why queue when you could pre-order? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25486971)

The reason for the lack of queues should be staggeringly obvious to anybody with at least two brain cells. Apparently Ms. Holson lacks the prerequisite in this area (or she's just too much of an Apple fangirl to acknowledge it).

The G1 was available to pre-order online for the last month. Why would anyone in their right mind queue at a retail location, when they could just click a mouse button?

The answer: They didn't. Those who wanted the device enough to have queued simply pre-ordered instead. Those who didn't want it enough to queue will gradually trickle in over the coming weeks, if they decide they want to see the device in person or buy it.

The answer couldn't be any more simple, and it completely fails to support Ms. Holson's insinuations.

Id buy it (4, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 6 years ago | (#25487069)

Id totally buy one, but I'm an ATT customer, and they havn't released one for ATT yet. Ill gladly swap my sim into one if i could find an unlocked one.

Brisk Business (1)

kerskine (46804) | about 6 years ago | (#25487071)

I picked up my G1 at the Galleria in Cambridge (MA). The T-Mobile Kiosk was doing a brisk business and had plenty of people on hand to demo, sell, and activate the phone.

I've noticed a lack of advertising for the G1, but I read that T-Mobile will be starting TV ads soon. I wonder how much money Google is going to contribute to the campaign.

The phone is nice and works out of the box. I used it most of the afternoon and evening on the 3G network and used a lot of battery power. I'm still working on how to conserve (use EDGE only, no GPS, no WiFi). I particularly like the syncing of contacts which is helpful.

T-Mobile isn't customer friendly (2, Interesting)

Kizeh (71312) | about 6 years ago | (#25487119)

T-Mobile also is doing its best to put little barbs in people's way. I'm out of contract and checked what it would take for me to get a G1. I can get it for the same price as a new customer, which is good, but T-Mobile tossed silly things like "transaction fees" into the cart when I got closer to the checkout point. While it's a minuscule amount in the big picture, it really did piss me off as a completely fake charge.
Not to mention the on-hold time with their customer service and totally useless voice response system.

nobody wants it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25487207)

because it looks too utilitarian. the design could have come from the 90's or 80's. they should take a lesson from apple and make it shinier/fancier. or at least have a design that looks like it came from this century.

Long Live Handheld Linux Devices!!!! (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | about 6 years ago | (#25487211)

I remember the "lines" I waited in to get my Sharp Zaurus []

Hopefully the "Googlephone" will be more popular as an open source version of a common device form factor.

I ordered one (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 6 years ago | (#25487217)

Like everybody else, I ordered one in advance. That's why there are no lines at the store. Big selling points were 1) I can write my own software for it, and 2) Built in GPS. Of course, buying one is an act of faith in that I'm assuming they will make software upgrades available later to fix little flaws like the lack of support for the stereo bluetooth profile. Of course, I probably won't get mine until November 8, but I don't think those extra 2 weeks will make much of a difference.

I'd like one, but... (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 6 years ago | (#25487261)

I don't want one that has a locked carrier. Same reason I don't have an iphone.

Typical of a Google Product (2, Interesting)

MBoffin (259181) | about 6 years ago | (#25487313)

Actually, I think we're just seeing that Google's product launches tend to have similar paths whether they are software or hardware. (I know the G1 phone isn't technically a Google product, but realistically, yes, it is.)

Google products tend to launch with rough edges, but with enough "Wow!" to generate buzz and interest. Initial comments tend to range from "Hey, that's cool!" to "Eh, [such and such] does that too, and Google's has less features." Over time, they tend to steadily polish up and turn into really stellar product offerings farther down the road. Look at Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Calendar, GMail, Google Reader, and so on.

And while some of their software products go flop (Google Lively, anyone?), most of them tend to take that steady, measured approach to a solid, highly usable product. The G1 phone seems to be on that same path.

Not a big suprise. (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 years ago | (#25487335)

The iPhone is attractive to the general public.

Android phones are attractive to techies.

Its not exactly a big suprise that there aren't crowds waitting for them, the percentage of techies in the world is relatively low so theres no way its going to have any sort sales numbers like the iPhone.

Technies know about it, the rest of the world doesn't care, and won't care until its as sexy and user friendly as the iPhone. This isn't the year of the Android phone any more than its the year of the Linux desktop, and for the exact same reasons. The general public doesn't care about anything they have to offer and wants features that neither have to offer.

Because hyping gen 1 of a product is stupid (1, Insightful)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | about 6 years ago | (#25487359)

Why the hell would you overhype a version 1.0 product? So you can buy a $600 dumbphone from Apple?

People who bought a rev 1 iPhone got SCREWED. Then the price dropped and Lord Steve gave people credit to spend on more of his garbage. Then Rev 1 of the 3G turned out to be a bigger turd because it got crappy signal, dropped calls, has bad battery life, and crappy apps that crash the phone.

So, moral, don't buy rev 1.

Tough crowd (2, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | about 6 years ago | (#25487375)

People are writing it off as a failure because there aren't crowds and lines forming to buy it? Seriously?

Seems just about every product ever made would be an utter failure going by that metric.

Stop calling Apple products intuitive (5, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 6 years ago | (#25487387)

The iPhone is NOT any more intuitive than any other phone. It is not intuitive to use two fingers spreading in and out to zoom in and out. It is not intuitive to change the screen orientation by rotating it if it only works when holding the unit somewhat vertical. (That drove my daughter nuts until I explained how gravity works with the phone.)

The iPod is NOT any more intuitive than any other music player. It is not intuitive to have to return to the now-playing screen to change the volume. It is not intuitive to run your finger around a circle to change volume or select items. And not being able to edit play lists is just inexcusable.

The Apple was NOT any more intuitive than any other computer. Dragging the CD to the trashcan to eject it was not intuitive. People exposed to Windows did not deal well with the lack of right click and that silly Apple key until shown what they were for.

Intuitive means directly apprehended or instinctive. Something is not intuitive if basic features require demonstration or having to read the manual. Apple products have some cool features that once exposed to can make them easier to use. That isn't intuitive, it's user friendly.

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