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.

It's T-Mobile
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.

I'm a T-Mobile customer (a very happy T-Mobile customer, too). But I won't get the G1 because:

- Higher monthly fees. I pay $20 a month right now for Internet access and on my Motorola Shadow, I can read POP email, Twitter, and gmail. And I can surf the web. I don't have a touch interface...I'm managing to survive ;-)

- No tethered modem for my laptop. I have this now with my $20 fee and my Shadow. When I'm travelling, it's great to be able to surf on my laptop. Seems to me that a tethered modem is more important than video (which, BTW, I can record on my Shadow).

- It's too soon. Way too many people are having problems with their iPhone. I don't need to spend $200 and $35 a month (or whatever the new fee is) for to help debug the glitches.

Hi Char:
Thanks for the comment. All good points. And you think they would include that modem as an incentive to get the few customers they do have to switch to the G1.

And honestly, no disrespect to T-Mobile (well, a little), but they are a distant fourth in the US provider market and I was just pointing that out (forcefully). :-)

I agree there's plenty of time to sort out the Android market. Why buy 1.0 technology.

I agree with you, Ron. Google and T-Mobile really fumbled the ball on this one. The phone is overpriced for what it does (and doesn't do... no GPS?), and it's UGLY. I'm also amazed that the FOSS community isn't completely flipping out that the phone is locked.

I'm a T-Mo customer and have no complaints with their service but, then again, my BlackBerry Curve doesn't have 3G. I hear 3G is the pits with T-Mobile.

One reason I'll be watching the evolution of this phone, though, is to see where people go with the 3rd party apps. Apple makes life so hard for the iPhone devs, I can't wait to see what happens when it's possible to create phone apps without the hassle Apple dishes out.

Hi Lisa:
Thanks for the comment. I suspect as we see more phones with Android and the platform develops more, it's going to put some serious pressure on Apple to be more flexible. As I said, the iPhone is a single phone, Android could be on many phones with many different approaches. As this happens, it will be interesting see how the cell phone market shakes out as a result.