Everyone is all ga-ga this week over the G1, the new HTC phone from T-Mobile, which is the first phone powered by Google's Android phone OS. On one level, the geek in me certainly shares the excitement. It's open source. It's Google's first entree into the phone market. I'm not denying it's big news, but I'm having a hard time getting too excited over it. The G1 aint the iPhone folks. I'm sure if you asked people on the street if they knew what Android was, most would look at you with blank stares. By now, sure, they know there's a Google phone, but that's about it.
So to temper the excitement a bit and get back to reality, I came up with a list of 5 reasons not to get the G1. Here we go...
It's too expensive
At $179.00, the G1 costs too much. If Google and T-Mobile really want to compete with the iPhone, they would have come out with a phone under $100. Let's be real here. It's freaking open source. I thought one of the advantages of open source was it lowered the cost of the phone.
T-Mobile runs a distant fourth in the cell phone carrier race in the U.S. Before Europeans get all up in arms, I know T-Mobile is a worldwide force, but in the U.S., they are nothing much, nothing much. Why would Google choose the also-ran to be the carrier for its first phone out of the chute? Seems like a poor decision. Would have been better to go with Verizon and compete head on with AT&T and the iPhone.
It's Locked for the First 90 Days
C'mon T-Mobile! If you have an open phone, you can't lock it even for a short time. Either it's open or it's not. You want people to stand up and take notice of your pathetic fourth place company, then unlock the phone and give people something to talk about. Going half way just subjects you to ridicule (like this).
There's no Video Camera
Yes, I know there's no video camera in the iPhone either. If I were doing a post on the top 5 reasons not to buy an iPhone (hey, that's an idea), I would mention this too. It won't be long before broadcasting video from your cell phone is as common as sending an text message is now. If Google, HTC and T-Mobile really wanted to distinguish themselves (and justify that price tag), adding a video camera would have gone a long way toward doing that.
It Lacks Sex Appeal
Let's face it, Apple has a way of making us want their products. We lust after them. We must have them. The general consensus is that you won't see lines on the sidewalk outside T-Mobile stores on October 22nd. The G1 lacks the buzz of the iPhone.
So there you have it, five reasons to forget the G1. The fact is Android is an OS, so we are going to see other phones coming out over the next year, in all likelihood from all the major carriers. You are not likely to see another phone from Apple. It's the iPhone or forget it. With Android, there will be choices and you might want to wait until the market settles to make yours.