T-Mobile G1 Android Phone Hands-On

October 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 am

android market

October 22, the day of reckoning has arrived.  Crowds have gathered in front of T-Mobile Stores across the US to purchase the new G1 phone.  What’s the fuss? Well, it’s the first mobile phone that’s running the Google Android mobile platform.  Why the fuss? Google as we know it is king of the internet jungle and now with the T-Mobile G1 running the Android OS, Google has officially entered the mobile phone industry taking with it the entire web and ushering in the age of mobile internet.  Sure, mobile internet has been around for a while now but with Google in the game, we’re bound to see some improvements and innovations.

The T-Mobile G1 is a collaboration between Google, T-Mobile and mobile handset maker HTC.  The G1 (although they won’t admit it) was designed to take on the Apple iPhone which is the one truly responsible for popularizing the internet on the mobile phone.  To counter the iPhone, Google needed to come up with a similar device and a similar service to Apple’s AppStore.  Hence the Android Market, a storefront for Android applications that run initially on the G1 and eventually on every Android powered device.

With Android Market, users can easily download apps to their Android-powered phone. Users can also rate the apps they’ve downloaded and leave comments. These users’ ratings along with anonymous usage statistics help determine how apps are ranked and presented within Android Market.

If you’re a developer, you will be able to register and upload your applications starting next Monday, 2008-10-27, when we’ve wrapped up a few final details. In order to make sure that each developer is authenticated and responsible for their apps, you will need to register and pay onetime $25 application fee. Once registered, your apps can be made available to users without further validation or approval.

Starting in early Q1, developers will also be able to distribute paid apps in addition to free apps. Developers will get 70% of the revenue from each purchase; the remaining amount goes to carriers and billing settlement fees-Google does not take a percentage. We believe this revenue model creates a fair and positive experience for users, developers, and carriers. [Android Developers Blog]

These terms and conditions are ominously similar to the iPhone developers’ contract.  However the revenue sharing is something new, at least for Google.  The initial plan to monetize the Android platform is by providing free ad-supported applications.  The paid apps may be only for starters and eventually most applications could go for free.  This is another pattern that has happened with the internet from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0.