Watch out iPhone! Your first most likely serious competitor is having its coming out party today.
In New York City this morning, Google, T-Mobile and HTC (a Taiwanese company) are scheduled to unveil the first mobile phone with Google's Android operating system at about 10:30 a.m. EST. (A lot of phone geeks on the West Coast will be getting up early this morning).
The Android won't actually go on sale until next month. But when it does, it's expected to start at $199 (with the T-Mobile service contract) or $399 without a service contract. HTC is the manufacturer of the phone that reportedly will feature a slider keypad. It wil be a 3G phone (meaning lickety-split Internet access, like the latest version of the iPhone).
Here's a demo video of the Android platform from Google posted on YouTube. Keep in mind this is just a demo of the software and not the phone itself. I'll post a link to pictures of the actual phone later today after its unveiled.
Why Apple should be nervous about the Android
1. In a stroke of genius, Google is just peddling a mobile operating system and not the whole phone. This is not a "Google phone", as once speculated. Android will debut on a handset built by HTC and sold by T-Mobile. But, Google is not married to T-Mobile. Android software is going to be bundled on to handsets of all kinds and by all carriers. Meanwhile, Apple is locked into four more years of that crazy AT&T only contract.
2. Android is completely open source. The iPhone is not. Yes, Apple has the App store for iPhone. But make no mistake, the iPhone is not open source. Android will have a bazillion more developers unleashing their creative powers coming up with killer applications. Apple will be hard-pressed to keep up.
3. Google has all those Googly tools we already love to use that are ready to roll out for the mobile crowd; Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Earth for finding restaurants and hotels.
4. Pound for pound, it will match most of what iPhone already has to offer; 3G speed, touch screen, etc. I'm not sure about it's functionality as a mp3 player. But, it has wicked graphics for playing video games (for killing time during layovers).
Last updated: Sep 23, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio