The Big List: 30 critical issues with Google G1 phone

gphone2.jpg

“The most exciting phone in the history of phones.”

says the handset manufacturer HTC. “T-Mobile G1 With Google,” is the official name. Based on Google’s Android OS, G1 has a lot going for it. It’s been immediately designated as the most probable iPhone-killer. If it weren’t for these:

  1. No SIM-unlocking, T-Mobile only
  2. No tethering
  3. No Adobe Flash
  4. No Microsoft Silverlight
  5. No Microsoft Exchange
  6. No iTunes
  7. No Skype or VoIP on 3G
  8. No standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, must use G1 headset or adapter
  9. No stereo Bluetooth A2DP
  10. No multi-touch
  11. No desktop synching with PCs or Macs
  12. No compatibility with the standard iPod/iPhone connectors
  13. No video recording
  14. No built-in video player, must download from third-party
  15. No camera flash
  16. No proximity sensor
  17. No ambient light sensor
  18. No data-only T-Mobile plans
  19. Limited to 1GB bandwidth cap, speed down to 50kbps after 1GB
  20. Limited to 3G coverage in only 22 locations in the U.S.
  21. Limited to stores within vicinity of T-Mobile 3G covered locations
  22. Limited to users with Google accounts only
  23. Limited to Google email, contacts, calendar, plus another generic email
  24. Limited to maximum 8GB memory, with additional microSD card purchase
  25. Limited to read-only Word, PDF, and Excel docs; no editing
  26. Limited screen size (3.2″) and colors (65K)
  27. Limited language support
  28. Limited apps and games
  29. Limited transparency on how Google or carriers will ‘validate’ app submissions
  30. Limited industrial design appeal

Would Apple have been utterly crucified and AAPL have tanked if the iPhone came out with so many shortcomings?

108 thoughts on “The Big List: 30 critical issues with Google G1 phone

  1. A win is buy one G1 get one free? Soon to be two free perhaps.
    That is biz model?
    Errr. A model for failure.
    Google has no interest in phones other than to capture all phone users as its audience.
    Google is not in the phone biz.

  2. Yeah I kinda thing the list is a bit extreme, sure it has it short comings. But I’m still picking one up next month.

    Anyway, Indeed the Iphone had its short coming ( no GPS, 8 gigs max and a bad battery life )

    All in all, I think the Iphone is indeed a good and aceptable device, it just doesn’t have the WOW factor for me because I’m kind of a geek, and like to talk stuff an not design.

    I think android is a truly good platform and i can’t wait for it to be combined with Nokia, LG or Any other phone manufacturers. Because if you combine a good OS with phone builders that have years of experience, you’re bound to have some great products.

  3. QT: “Rather than shooting it down or pointing out its flaws, why don’t you just send an e-mail to HTC, Android or T-Mobile”

    Because, in the commercial marketplace where people pay actual money to purchase stuff, it doesn’t work like that. You don’t rely on paying customers to do the work of vendors. Which, BTW, should explain why the G1 won’t even remotely hit the “1.5 million units in 2008″ target floated around or why 2009 won’t be the Year of Linux on the desktop…again. That, of course, doesn’t mean either the G1 or Linux isn’t useful for some demographic, just not enough to dominate or influence a commercial market.

  4. This has to be the crappiest, most closed minded post ever on G1 v. iPhone critiques.

    G1 at least has more potential to expand since it is open source. By the time a G2 is released, all of the crap mentioned above will probably be taken care of (besides, who uses ALL of that? The iPhone’s camera flashed hardly worked when you needed it).

    As an avid Google user (gMail, Google Calendar, etc.), the phone is amazing and takes care of all average smart phone users. Rather than shooting it down or pointing out its flaws, why don’t you just send an e-mail to HTC, Android or T-Mobile so they know what to improve on next time.

  5. jdslim: “Now that the phone has been out for almost 60 days now do you feel the same way about the android G1?”

    Fair question. While the market performance of G1 has been underwhelming, well short of the 1.5 million claimed by some, I’m reserving judgment on Android (the bigger story here) until one or two phones made by other manufacturers ship. If a large carrier/manufacturer supported Android phone isn’t successfully launched in 2009, I’d be inclined to drastically lower my expectations of its long-term significance.

    The G1 didn’t go after the enterprise and HTC isn’t sophisticated enough by itself to be a major player in the consumer market, against Apple and RIM, so the odds were/are against the G1…and it shows.

  6. Yes, your list was way off but in your defence you created this list before the phone was released.

    Now that the phone has been out for almost 60 days now do you feel the same way about the android G1?

  7. Smokin Joe: “I’d like see this list a year from now.”

    Sure, but it’ll be a year old by then. :-)

    “I don’t see either of them going away”

    Nobody claimed that it would, though.

    “I just think Android has the greatest upside.”

    Therein lies the problem: Android amounts to nothing until coupled with hardware (and a carrier). So Android’s upside potential is not controlled by Google or its developers. G1 is HTC + Android + T-Mobile. Three very different entities with different agendas, rate of innovation and internal needs.

    So yes, some but not all the “flaws” above will be rectified in a year or so, but by that time my new “list of 30″ will be published as Apple pretty much single handedly moves the bar again, and RIM, Nokia and maybe even Microsoft try to follow suit.

    I really like the Android option (with whatever device it may be coupled with) as a control variable in that equation. At the least, it’ll show us if the open source can out innovate Apple and whether consumers really care about “openness” above all else.

  8. I’d like see this list a year from now. Remember, the iPhone was seen as inferior to the Blackberry for most professionals when it was first released. It took a year+ of tuning to get people to finally accept it as more than just a high-end toy with phone capabilities.

    So give the G1 some time, how long has it been released for? Compare that to iPhone and Blackberry and you have to adjust for that.

    I recently got a G1 and I absolutely love the App Market and the rating/comment system it has. It’s amazing what has already been created, and will be in the future.

    Really, I don’t see either of them going away, I just think Android has the greatest upside.

  9. Christina: “because it’s NOT an iPod/iPhone!!!! that’s the whole point of the G1.”

    When another player dominates 3/4 of a market and has established a formal method of connecting to its platform, not being able to support that platform can not be viewed as a feature, it’s a flaw. Especially given the fact that G1 doesn’t even ship with a native media player of its own.

  10. i have to say, my most favorite of the shortcoming listed here is number 12:

    “No compatibility with the standard iPod/iPhone connectors”

    the reason the G1 is not compatible with the standard iPod/iPhone connector is because it’s NOT an iPod/iPhone!!!! that’s the whole point of the G1. why the comparing????

  11. Bob: “How about: Flaw=not an iPhone.”

    So how about it? If you sell into the very same market as another product, one that happens to have a tremendous amount of visibility and success, the least you must do is to match its capabilities and then exceed them. Merely being in the same ballpark is a recipe for failure. Ask the legions of iPod-killers that are now roadkill.

    Before the iPhone was introduced nobody knew much about multi-touch on mobile devices, for example. Today, if you introduce a smartphone to compete with the iPhone and you don’t have a credible alternative to iPhone’s multi-touch and fluid UI, you get your ticket punched on a fast train to failure land. Dito for Wi-Fi, media play, GPS, games, app store, etc. Not incorporating them is a product flaw, because the bar has been raised that high. You compete or you die.

  12. SySiphus: “…its a conceptual thing, an opinion if you will.”

    The G1 is a commercial product manufactured and sold by HTC to run on T-Mobile, another commercial entity. The reason the G1 is a functioning device is for these two companies to make money. If they don’t make money on it you can be sure that they won’t be selling the G1 at a loss for too long. IOW, neither HTC nor T-Mobile sells “opinions.” The fact that Android is open source is only secondary to their need to make money.

    the things that the most people wanted. trackball, QWERTY, and touch.

    How do you know that most people wanted trackball, QWERTY and touch? After all, Apple’s single product, iPhone, sold last quarter more than all the BlackBerry smartphones combined and BBs are supposed to be the king of those antiquated input/navigation interfaces. Also curious is the fact that the epitome of physical keyboards, BlackBerry, has moved to a virtual keyboard in its latest and greatest model, Storm. As well, even anti-Apple analysts and pundits agree that “touch” as offered on BBs as well as the G1 isn’t anywhere as fluid as it’s on the iPhone.

    So perhaps you should ask yourself “is it good?” before you ask “is it open source?”

  13. I read about halfway through this crock before i realized i was watching a train wreck unfold before my very eyes. Kontra you are either mentally challenged or work for apple. Every other post you remark about how you were trying to make a point by way of sarcasm, and then in the next post you quote statistics that either prove you cant read; or you cant do math!!! the point of the g1 was not to kill the iPhone. the point of the g1 was that htc wanted to be the first company to offer a phone that used the android platform. they decided that they wanted, not to provide the phone that would get all iPhone geeks to leave their iPhones; but that would offer as many of the things that the most people wanted. trackball, QWERTY, and touch. sounds like a simple idea to me. the point of the android operating system is not to make the operating system that will kill the iPhone os!!! its the same point as Linux, to see what the collective can create. to have an argument about what is better an apple or an orange would be less juvenile! you cant compare the 2 phones, they are only the same on the very basic surface level attributes. its a conceptual thing, an opinion if you will. and as long as you are having the trouble that you are with stats, i wont even bother trying to explain open source to you. LOL. get a freakin life.

  14. Lol, glad to see yet ANOTHER person spewed their opinion out there without doing much research first. How about: Flaw=not an iPhone. Yeah, that’s about as intelligent as most of this crap.

  15. See, Gi is in its very infant stage. Expect developers come with more productivity apps. Also android is an open platform which in turn can be used by many hardware manufactures. See if sony ericsson plans to use it and they can provide many models based on the user requirements. What this site pointed out no no things can be added very easily. But there is many proprietory problems for connecting to Microsoft based software say for example exchange connectivity. But in a true open standard platform there is no limitation at all.
    There should be competition always. I am glad to see it between the apple and Google, excellent creative people I ever appreciated in life.

  16. Seems like a couple of different comparisons going on in this post – iPhone vs G1, & Apple vs Android (open source). G1 is a new phone being compared against a reasonably established player. Is the G1 as good as the latest iPhone – probably not – but that’s not surprising giving that it’s brand new. Is Anderiod better than Apple’s mobile OS (or whatever you call the guts behind iPhone)? Probably not yet. Same reason.

    But Anderiod sounds like a reasonably solid mobile OS, based on rock solid Linux no less, and I’m sure it’ll have a whole open source community behind it to enhance it. And it’s free to all manufactureres to want to use it. Once it’s mature (if it’s not already almost there), I can’t imagine any phone manufacturer without their own mobile OS would want to pay for someone else’s mobile OS when they can use Anderiod for free. So I’d be willing to bet money that in a couple years, the mobile phone market is going to start resembling the pc market – iPhone/Apple vs Android/every other manufacturer.

    And for phone apps, there will be iPhone apps on iPhone vs. opensource Android apps that you can use on any Anderoid phone with any other carrier. And you can bet there are going to be a TON of Anderiod apps out there.

    Apple and MS don’t need to fear the G1, it’s just another phone in a large market, but I think they’d better be nervous about what’s in store in the next couple of years, because the G1 is just the start of a whole new wave of mobile phones.

  17. head: “calling ipod connectors standard is funny”

    There is a billion dollar industry around iPod-iPhone dock connectors, including 90% of the cars shipping in the U.S. Considering iPod/iTunes dominates 3/4 of the digital media industry, it’s as close to a “standard” as you’re likely going to get. Dismissing that would be the equivalent of creating a new spreadsheet app today and not making it Excel compatible.

  18. ckale: “You can’t mix and match.”

    Why not? It’s practically a Rorschach test, as can be seen from the dozens of comments here and the variations therein. I explained that in this comment above.

  19. The thing about this list is it’s trying to be sarcastic AND ironic AND straightforward AND objective.

    You can’t mix and match. If you list no tethering as a serious issue, you can’t include the lack of iTunes and expect people to “pick up on your irony”. If you wrote the list to highlight hypocrisy, but have to explain it over and over in your comments, then your article isn’t clear. It reads as a perfectly serious list of 30 issues, and your comments feel like backpedaling and “I was being IRONIC” defensiveness.

  20. By not being objective you are making a joke out of yourself.

    It seems that if it is not by Apple it is not good and not standard… calling ipod connectors standard is funny given that even Apple bother to change them in every release so you will need to buy more stuff.

    I really liked your ‘limited screen size’… these missing 0.2″ are painfull..

  21. Pingback: T-Mobile G1 Android mobile phone introduced yesterday but nobody here seems to care.. - Page 3 - Team-BHP

  22. The G1 doesn’t ONLY work on 3G networks… it also supports EDGE and will drop down to that just like the iPhone does. (Which my 3G iPhone does A LOT by the way) Besides, a lot of people like me live in one of those two dozen places and rarely travel outside of them. A lot of people purchased the original iPhone and do just fine on EDGE, and I expect some people will purchase a G1 and survive on EDGE as well – but it’s their choice. Unlike my damn 3G iPhone on AT&T that rarely operates on 3G, which is certainly not MY choice!

  23. Polly: “does that defy the laws of the internet?”

    Releasing a mass-market mobile product that only works at two dozen places in the U.S. defies business logic, above all.

  24. I doubt Google would charge to download applications, unlike the iPhone. Google would be generating majority of its profits from advertisement integrated into applications most likely.

    Also, regarding T-mobile’s 3G network, I would assume that T-mobile would have a back up source for accessing the web. They have a large HotSpot WiFi network so I don’t see why the phone wouldn’t be able to be integrated to use that system until it reached a 3G network.

    Or does that defy the laws of the internet?

  25. @Kontra

    I see. Though I have to say writing an anti-G1 piece to shed light on how ridiculous/redundant the anti-Apple crowd has become is a little…well…perplexing.

    Still, it’s your blog…go nuts.

  26. If nothing else, Google should at least be able to make money with Android. This would be their second salable product, right? (As opposed to everything else that they give away.)

  27. BDot: “Is this a humor post?”

    Depends on how hard you want to laugh. If you read through the comments I explained why I wrote this. Here and here, for example, I underscored how hypocrisy works when rendering biased judgment on new products and what happens when tables are turned around.

  28. Is this a humor post? Because it sounds to me like the author wants a computer (preferably a Mac I assume), and hasn’t yet come to the realization that the G1 is a PHONE.

    And more importantly hasn’t realized that is NOT made by Apple. Granted there are some legitimate criticisms here, most of these are nitpicky, to downright ridiculous, so I’ll start there:

    -No sim unlock:

    Duh. EVERY US carrier does this. Why when a new phone drops this issue is always raised is beyond me. You know as well as I do it’s only a matter of time before someone, somewhere discovers how to break the sim lock, and then voila.

    In the meantime, stop whining about US carriers not selling you a sim unlocked phone. It hasn’t happened before and it isn’t about to happen anytime soon.

    Get over it.

    -No iTunes:

    Seriously, why do you feel Tmobile, and Google owe you iTunes integration? And really, this is more Apple’s fault than anyone else. THEY are the ones who don’t really approve of you using non-Apple devices with iTunes.

    But don’t get me wrong here, iTunes is their service, and they can do what they want with it. However, Apple still bears the ultimate “blame” for this one.

    -No standard 3.5mm jack, must use adapter.

    Is using the FREE, and INCLUDED adapter that much of an inconvenience? Jesus people….

    -No compatibility with the standard iPod/iPhone connectors:

    Ugh, see point 2 above about the iTunes integration. I find it confusing (aside from the Apple fanboy vibe I get) why you feel HTC/Google/T-Mp are supposed to cater to iTunes users?

    So what it isn’t compatible with iPod connectors? Can you explain why it should be?

    -No proximity/ambient light sensor.

    Hell, why we’re at it, let’s bitch about it not being able to warm up my pop tarts in the morning. I saw no literature anywhere that indicated these WOULD be included, so what’s your beef exactly?

    It doesn’t come with a hot brazilian model either, but you don’t see me complaining.

    Onto to the concerns actually worth acknowledging I agree that HTC/Google/T-Mo dropped the ball on a few things in an effort to get this one out the door in time, but most of your gripes can, and most likely will be “fixed” by either them, or 3rd party developers.

    No stereo bluetooth, video recording, desktop sync, office files editing, flash, etc, etc, etc can ALL be deployed via software.

    Last, can anyone tell me where the hell the term “iPhone killer” even comes from?

    I trust you all are aware that Blackberry has the hugest share of the US smartphone market?

    Please tell me you knew that.

  29. “But the whole point of Android is the open source of the apps.”

    The open source of the apps? That’s cool. In the screenshot, Namco’s PAC-MAN is being downloaded. Where’s the repository for that code? I’d like to take a look under the hood.

  30. jake: “People didn’t care for the iPhone, so most likely people won’t care on the G1. Is that your point?”

    Almost.

    Design is not a collection of features or a checklist, except for tech pundits. It is the integration and balance of those features in a package that people will want to buy. This turns out to be extremely difficult to grok for many people, open source advocates especially included.

    Android and/or G1 can rectify many of these “flaws,” but not all. That I’m sure of. Whether an OS that’s supposed to run many disparate mobile devices from competing companies can repeat (on mobiles) the success of Windows for PCs is very much debatable. Recall that Windows arrived at that status through extra-legal means, without which I don’t think Microsoft would have succeeded. I don’t see that repeating again. So far the only advantage of Android over the iPhone is its promised superior ubiquity. Since I don’t see the entire mobile market coalescing around Android, I see fundamental problems with Google’s value proposition in the long run.

  31. Apple DID come up with many of the same shortcomings and they didn’t tank. The iPhone was ultimately able to overcome its shortcomings and was a great phone and is continuing to improve.

    I expect the same of Android. Keep in mind the phone isn’t even out yet.

    No SIM-unlocking, T-Mobile only (T-Mobile has 90 day unlock policy, this is better than the iPhone with no unlock policy)
    No tethering (probably 3rd app later, but valid)
    No Adobe Flash (iPhone didn’t have it either at launch)
    No Microsoft Silverlight (I think this is a good thing)
    No Microsoft Exchange (Microsoft & google’s relations…but again 3rd party likely, iPhone didn’t come with it either at launch)
    No iTunes (what does this have to do with anything, no phone besides the iPhone would support this)
    No Skype or VoIP on 3G (3rd party, too early to say, again iPhone didn’t have this b/c of no third party apps initially)
    No standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, must use G1 headset or adapter (iPhone initially came with recessed jack, so same)
    No stereo Bluetooth A2DP (again iPhone same, at least Google confirmed it will come in an update)
    No multi-touch (Apple patents is the problem, but valid I guess, engadget say hardware supports it though)
    No desktop synching with PCs or Macs (this is valid)
    No compatibility with the standard iPod/iPhone connectors (what does this have to do with anything? This is expected of any non-Apple product)
    No video recording (same as iPhone)
    No built-in video player, must download from third-party (valid)
    No camera flash (same as iPhone)
    No proximity sensor (doesn’t sound like a feature anyone noticed was missing so I doubt people care)
    No ambient light sensor (redundant with proximity sensor)
    No data-only T-Mobile plans (this has more to do with carrier than the phone, but the plans are still competitive and cheap, semi-valid I guess, but it’s not like AT&T doesn’t try to some their customers from using the cheaper medianet: http://gizmodo.com/5052862/iphone-users-with-non+iphone-plans-get-friendly-warning-notes-from-att)
    Limited to 1GB bandwidth cap, speed down to 50kbps after 1GB
    (fixed, please update: http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/24/t-mobile-kills-the-1gb-data-cap-takes-a-more-friendly-approach/)
    Limited to 3G coverage in only 22 locations in the U.S. (valid, but again has more to do with network)
    Limited to stores within vicinity of T-Mobile 3G covered locations (Avaliable online for stores not in area, so not really an issue; they will order for you online in store for non-3g areas after they do a demo for you and you are okay with the non-3g speed)
    Limited to users with Google accounts only (you can sign up on the phone for free once you get it so how is this an issue?)
    Limited to Google email, contacts, calendar, plus another generic email (this is redundant with the sync issue)
    Limited to maximum 8GB memory, with additional microSD card purchase (It supports up to 32GB with microSDHC according to engadget, microSDs are very cheap anyways, look it up. http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/25/sandisks-16gb-microsdhc-card-slips-into-retail-t-mobiles-g1/)
    Limited to read-only Word, PDF, and Excel docs; no editing (same as iPhone at launch)
    Limited screen size (3.2″) and colors (65K) (most smartphones are in this spec so I don’t see the problem, Off by 0.3″ only, but makes up for it with keyboard; I didn’t see complaints about the screen)
    Limited language support (didn’t see complaints about this anywhere yet, but I don’t know enough about this issue to comment if iPhone has it).
    Limited apps and games (the phone isn’t even in stores yet, what did you expect, this was better than when iPhone launched, no 3rd party apps)
    Limited transparency on how Google or carriers will ‘validate’ app submissions (they won’t do validation, it is up to the user. You can rate, comment and flag apps much like youtube, look it up. You can argue which system is better but Apple isn’t transparent at all).
    Limited industrial design appeal (this is subjective and depends on consumer opinion)

    I don’t really get your point because the list thins down ALOT when you ask the same question of the iPhone launch. People didn’t care for the iPhone, so most likely people won’t care on the G1. Is that your point?

    Most of these dealing with the software can be fixed by 3rd parties. Yes that is a negative on Android’s part, too much dependence on 3rd parties, but we’ll see if it works out after the phone is released. Also Android isn’t aimed at the iPhone, it is aimed to be in more phones than just one, so it is more like winmo or symbian, so its success doesn’t depend on the G1 (the G1 just has to do decent). The G1 IS aimed at the iPhone though. Sorry for the long comment, but it is a long list.

    • “The G1 will end up like Linux, nobody will use it.” Hahahahahahahaha xD

      You don;t use linux ? I’m indeed to am running windows ( 7en en vista ) but i know plenty darn well how many times i come in to contact with linux on a daily bases, if i go to a social networking page in Holland( the equivalent of myspace ) it’s soley linux run, even at work. Almost all devices run on linux, even the scale does xD. So please don’t say Linux isn’t used because you can’t see it :P

  32. someguy: “there doesnt have to be only one winner”

    I didn’t say anything about “only one winner.” In fact, in a comment above, I mentioned that similar markets generally coalesce into 2-3 players. I think that’s what will happen in this market and iPhone will be one of those 2-3. Steve Ballmer thinks WM and Symbian will be the remaining two. (I’m writing an article about this, BTW.)

  33. So your point is you can be as ridiculous as iPhone-bashers, except in your case it’s sarcasm/irony yet also 100% true? Don’t play it both ways: iPhone bashers are idiots — don’t stoop to their level, for any reason.

    You should be like the rest of us normal folk: iPhone? awesome! great innovation! could use some improvements, like anything else. android/G1? holds great promise. open is only as good as the best apps it generates in 6 months. let’s all hope for the best! also, very likely the competition will push apple harder. win-win. there doesnt have to be only one winner, only a religious nut would want that.

  34. Alechemist: “Apple controls iTunes and APPLE won’t let people on other platforms access their system. Flash is the de facto standard for web-based video that would (I’m guessing, but pretty sure) love to be supported on the iPhone but APPLE won’t let it happen.”

    Correct. So both iTunes and Flash are proprietary but de facto “standards” and the G1 supports neither. Why is that not a ‘negative’ for the G1 then, as I listed above? In digital music iTunes/iPod is it, and the G1 doesn’t support it. For ordinary music consumers that is problematic, as Zune customers are finding out.

    Once again, when Apple chooses not to adopt other companies’ proprietary stuff, it gets dinged by the anti-Apple chorus. But when other companies do not support similarly proprietary but de facto standard Apple stuff, it’s not important. Just underlining the hypocrisy.

  35. I *get* the sarcasm, but it’s misplaced.

    Apple controls iTunes and APPLE won’t let people on other platforms access their system. Flash is the de facto standard for web-based video that would (I’m guessing, but pretty sure) love to be supported on the iPhone but APPLE won’t let it happen.

    So through sarcasm you’re actually proving the opposite of what you intended. In fact one might argue that Apple is causing some of the weaknesses of the gPhone (like #s 6, 11, 12).

  36. Personally, I’d rather pair Cellular Broadband(Air Card), and a portable router (http://www.cradlepoint.com/phs300/phs300.php), with a TRULY open device, like the Nokia N810(Flash, Skype, OpenOffice, Maemo Linux, aka Secure). You’ll have choice of both the provider of your mobile internet, and the option to use it with your laptop, at the same time even… Yes, the pocket router adds bulk, but most people have either the pocket space, a case or pack, and for the ladies, almost any purse, so that shouldn’t be an issue. And the cost? The N810 is under $400. The router $175. Just add the Air Card, say around $50/Mo. Factor in the complete functionality and openness of this system(4″ 800×480 Transreflective TouchScreen, and you can add flash drives, Portable HD’s etc.) and I’d say that’s the killer setup…

  37. Jon: “…no doubt be engineered for Android too.”

    Lots of things are technically possible. The question is, to what purpose?

    We are at the genesis of platforms for mobile devices. There are too many platforms already, and there’s no doubt we’ll see consolidation within the next 18-24 months. Markets like these usually coalesce into 2-3 choices, with the rest slowly petering into oblivion.

    Unless something unusual happens, the iPhone will likely be one of them. Symbian, WM, RIM, Android and various other open source and proprietary derivations will have to fight it out for the remaining 2 spots. This will also consolidate various handset manufacturers that align with specific platforms.

    In that scenario, I don’t see any viability for interfaces on one platform that pretend to be some other platform, like those Asian iPhone knockoffs that say they have “touch” interfaces just like the iPhone but are in fact limited to very simple taps without any multi-touch fluidity.

  38. I guess there’s another way to look at this. I have an HTC Touch Diamond with the TouchFlow interface. It’s built on Windows Mobile, but it could no doubt be engineered for Android too. It’s the combination of a sleek device with a sleek interface that sold me; I could care less what’s running underneath. The concept of building a new interface over top failed with Compaq’s Tabworks interface back in Windows 3.1, but could it work for mobile phones?

  39. iPhones can be unlocked. There are people outside US who uses iPhone using the local carrier of the country.

  40. Even though people are comparing the iPhone with the Gphone, Android phone is really targeting Windows Mobile. Don’t take your eyes off the ball.

  41. grant czerepak: “The PC …allowed everyone to make it what they wanted in both hardware and software…”

    And we’ve all been paying for it ever since.

  42. The Google Phone and Android are to the iPhone what the PC and MSDOS was to the original Apple Computer.

    The PC was an open platform, it wasn’t a better platform, but it allowed everyone to make it what they wanted in both hardware and software and didn’t require anyone’s approval.

    Democratic systems will always trump technocratic systems.

  43. There are Two Other HTC Devices and a Windows Mobile phone coming out for
    T-MObile in the Next 6 Months in addition to Two New model Blackberry phones,
    aside from the KickStart also soon and All are supposed to Support the 3G
    Network so they’re JUst getting Started Now, FINAlly!!!

    - D
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  44. These are some of the stupidest things I’ve seen. Who cares if it doesn’t have an unlockable SIM card? And the shit about the headphones and stuff. The iPhone doesn’t have video recording or a flash camera either. These are just stupid reasons. This phone has some pretty cool color schemes to it; brown outside with white inside, black on black, white on white, way cooler than the iPhone by far. You cant go onto websites and watch videos on the iPhone, besides youtube, but thats installed in the phone. you cant download files from other websites either

  45. >>“Think about multiple Android devices on multiple carriers and tell me how one IPhone on one carrier is going to keep up.”<>When the diversity of phones, plans, carriers and applications severely outweigh the IPhone’s offerings come on over and join us. We won’t hold it against you.<<

    I think you take it too far, the phone industry is still very diverse, and I don’t really see iPhone is trying to monopolize the phone market. They’re gaining ground, but they’re a player, and they always see themselves as one, if you get the numbers, the lowest end Samsung phone sell 10 times of the iphone sell in a year in one month’s time. So don’t be so extreme.

    Your attitude is like Android will liberate the phone world… which is silly, if you want Android phones they way you describe, you’re talking about Google monopoly, may be it what you prefer? Then I can just dismiss whatever you said.

  46. sam: “You’re listing the fact that its not compatible with itunes as a negative. ridiculous.”

    Pretty much everybody in the industry from Microsoft to Real to Virgin to NBC has been vociferously complaining for the past five years about not being able to plug into the iTunes ecosystem. And you’re claiming it’s irrelevant?

    The anti-Apple chorus always attacks the company’s products for not being feature-complete. Go back and re-read tens of thousands of comments at the introduction of the iPhone. Pretty much every one of those started with, ” It’s cute but…my Treo, my BB does XXX and so much more. No Flash, no video, no tethering, no SIM-unlocking…forget it.”

    So how does it feel when the tables are turned around?

  47. Jim: “The Apple connectors are not ‘standard’ in any sense of the word, they are proprietary to Apple.”

    Of course, they are proprietary. But try explaining that to 3/4 of digital media consumers out there (and 90% U.S. car owners). And while you’re doing that you might want to explain why they can’t use their “standard” 3.5 mm headphones on the G1 either. Have a conversation about the “standard-ness” of the inexplicable ExtUSB on G1. There’s a billion-dollar ecosystem around the iPhone/iPod connector and the G1 is not part of it, just like the Zune isn’t. Look at what happened to Zune and tell me it’s not important to have that connectivity.

  48. This list is a bunch of garbage. You’re listing the fact that its not compatible with itunes as a negative. ridiculous. Someone wrote an app for the G1 to use the camera to scan bar codes. ok? I’m pretty sure well have video recording soon enough. ‘Limited apps and games’ is an item on the list. Really? Android is limited? Not apple? Thats funny. I think your brain is limited.

  49. >>That’s bunk. The Apple connectors are not “standard” in any sense of the word, they are proprietary to Apple.

    A standard connection would be mini-USB, like the BlackBerry has, and many other devices use.<<

    Yes, the iPod connector is definitely proprietary, but I guess the disadvantage of not having it is: most cars now offers iPod connections therefore you can have it play in your car and also control the playback, seeing the song info.. etc… if they can have it, it’s a plus…

    well, almost everybody has a ipod anyway, so this point is moot.

  50. #12 “No compatibility with the standard iPod/iPhone connectors ”

    That’s bunk. The Apple connectors are not “standard” in any sense of the word, they are proprietary to Apple.

    A standard connection would be mini-USB, like the BlackBerry has, and many other devices use.

  51. There’s so many things people try to ignore just to make a argument.

    Just tell me what will be the next version of G1 or any phone design is going to be??? Other than Android able to deploy to many manufacturers (well, the OS is the foundation ONLY), what else???

    Are you talking touch. or multi-touch?

    If anything is so bright and clear, I think many phone company already did it years ago, why wait till the debut of the iPhone?

    It’s not a fanfare, it just so obvious, if Apple do not make the iphone, or say if Apple will not have anything come up that is innovative for the iphone, nobody will have any idea what to do next.

    It’s not an exaggeration, and it’s not saying only Apple can do it, but sadly, that’s what we’re witnessing, and that’s why the Android OS can only help the phone company that much. The rest of the problem will unfold after the involvement of the carriers, the phone manufacturers, the marketing people… then technically the supports of different phones and formats, supports for phone/carriers to their customers…. the App store is almost the least concern because obviously not all the apps will runs on all the variants of phone… You get the picture…

    Yes, Open is good in it’s own way, but it have it’s limitations, and the limitation is so big that you might find out you’re deceived the the word “open”.

  52. d: ““No iTunes” “issue” almost killed me.”

    I’m glad you picked up the irony.

    That’s to demonstrate the absurdity and hypocrisy of demanding that Apple support things like Adobe Flash. There were thousands of people screaming their lungs out claiming that the iPhone was doomed and evil because it didn’t support Flash. After all, iTunes dominates 3/4 of the digital media download market, so its absence should be considered a “flaw” in any checklist, as much as Flash or Exchange might so be considered by their own promoters. Sounds silly, right? Well, welcome to anti-Apple festivities.

  53. While regulation of apps is a feature on the iPhone platform, absence of such regulation is a feature on Android. I am very happy with the Apple approach, for the sake of better security and better performance. But the iPhone regulation has not exactly been easy: Apple had to build it in on a low level of the OS and defend it from day one.
    I don’t know technical details of Android so it is hard to assess the power of telecom provider to stop unwanted apps but since openness is an Android feature I think it won’t be that easy.

    The consequence might be T-Mobile – in it’s rush to compete with iPhone – embraced a Troyan Horse. The Android platform might indeed allow the distribution of applications for tethering and voip in a way that is not so easy to stop.

  54. soonerloud: “Much like you don’t know how the G1/Tmo/Google will handle tethering or voip”

    We don’t need to speculate, we do know that on Oct 22 there won’t be any tethering or VoIP shipping on G1. T-Mobile didn’t explicitly agree to either. They made some exceptionally vague remarks about it, much like what open platform promoters have been complaining about Apple’s position on various apps.

    Once again, my point here is to underscore the sheer hypocrisy of the Apple-haters, not necessarily to take a pro/con position on iPhone or G1. Let’s just be consistent. There is no (historical) reason to believe that G1 or Android will amount to much, it hasn’t even shipped yet. The iPhone does have a record that speaks for itself: we can see growth patterns, trends, sales numbers, technical improvements, etc. It’s hard to compare these to what might happen with a yet-to-ship G1.

  55. Dude,
    Within 4 years you will be unlocking/starting your car, paying for your corny dog at your local Pig On A Stick, carry around electronic club cards, changing channels from Sponge Bob to Dora on your tv, setting the alarm on your house and blogging about how the new MS communiphone will suck; all on your Android platform.

    Talk about comparing apples to oranges…

  56. Phil: “Think about multiple Android devices on multiple carriers and tell me how one IPhone on one carrier is going to keep up.”

    How did that old, soggy fairytale work out on the iPod-killers platform?

    • “How did that old, soggy fairytale work out on the iPod-killers platform?”

      It didn’t, and you know why ? Because the Ipod was really a ‘new’ device. It had some remarkable features that other mp3/4 players didn’t have at the them, not to mention the fact that most mp3′s of that time where limited to 512 mb or a bit more. So the Ipod really piked up the marked there. Because there was no real alternative. There is now ( I’m using my Creative Zen non-stop )

    • You must be one of the 17 people doing so then. :)

      You see, it turns out lots of people will pay for value. So much so that I’m predicting close to 100MM Apple touch platform users in 18-24 months. That’s the fastest growing, most innovative, most lucrative segment of the industry.

  57. Wow…such ignorance. I hope the good people at Apple have better forward thinking than alot of people that have posted here. Some of you are so caught up in the G1 and taking swipes at open source that you don’t see the bigger picture. Android can be put on ANY phone that meets its requirements. Take any of the nicer phones from HTC, LG, Samsung, Nokia and imagine Android on it. Now realize that this WILL happen. Think about multiple Android devices on multiple carriers and tell me how one IPhone on one carrier is going to keep up.

    As for this list its rather biased, silly and also ignorant. Most of the “deficiencies” listed have been left there for a reason. From the very beginning Google said they were building a PLATFORM for developers, carriers, and handset makers to build upon. What they have done is release a platform where many will have business opportunities. The base OS was never meant to have all of these things but I bet you will see them in third party apps faster than you could with the IPhone. Some of the issues on the list are just silly. IPhone users may want sleek but there are people out there like myself that don’t want an IPhone because we want a keyboard. I don’t want to type on the screen that I’m trying to see and my accuracy suffers on something thats not physical. But once again you’ll get the “sleekness” you seek on some other Android device probably before the middle of 09.

    You can really see how threatened some Apple fans are. It ok. You already have your phone so let those that aren’t Apple fans enjoy their new platform. When the diversity of phones, plans, carriers and applications severely outweigh the IPhone’s offerings come on over and join us. We won’t hold it against you.

  58. If HTC announced that a version of the Touch HD was going to come preloaded with Android, I can’t imagine Apple would be very comfortable. However, the G1 doesn’t really seem to be targeting Apple’s iphone. I do expect a sleeker, more straightforward assault on that Apple phone by Q2 of 2009, maybe a Touch Viva running Android…

    With all the different possible hardware configurations, Nokia should be very afraid of this new player, but we will have to wait for the Nokia Tube and the touch screen versions of Series 60 to accurately measure Nokia’s future.

  59. Oh, and BTW, anyone heard anything about the Open Moko lately? Being as it was the first real “open” smart phone, shouldn’t it be dominating by now?

  60. Open! Open! Open!!!!1

    “Android will be an amazing OS since it is available to EVERYONE to develop on.”

    Clearly, being “open” for “everyone to develop on” is the most important thing for an Operating System. That is why Linux has not only the best user experience, but the highest market share.

    Right?

  61. Antonis: “it doesn’t worth spending time to develop apps for the iPhone”

    Yes, but that hasn’t remotely happened yet. So far out of thousands of apps less than a handful have been rejected, and reasonable people can differ on their merit and suitability. It’s foolish to expect Apple to allow third parties at this point in iPhone’s development to compete directly with Apple or create apps that can degrade the user experience. Apple’s desktop OS X is no Linux but just because there’s no credible alternative to, say, iTunes we don’t call it “closed”, do we?

  62. Exactly. The cell carriers will hobble it. The only carrier willing to jump is the one most desperate, T-Mobile. The next most likely is Sprint. Verizon and AT&T will only carry something like this if T-Mobile has any success selling the device, but at this point, who’d buy it if T-Mobile only has 21 cities with 3G?

  63. First things first, like it or not the iPhone has indeed changed “phone history.” Palm originated it years ago, MS made changes to it and brought it into the business world, and Apple made it… well lets face it, Apple made it fun and “cool.” Now, credit has been given, facts have been laid out. Google has taken the “cool” aspect to use in it’s own line of software/phone combinations. Everything has been done before, it is just being done by a different company and made to have additional features. It is not a matter of “they are copying this company”, or “you are just mad because this company is better than that company.” Look at the phone, the carriers and the software (and the software practices) on their own. With that said… the G1 is a “nice” phone. Compare it to HTC’s Touch Pro and it is a bit bulky but has a “fancier” way for the keyboard to be displayed. OS vs OS and of course one would be likely to say the Android OS may actually be faster since WinMo is known to be WinSlow. Compared to the iPhone’s OS… chances are they will be head to head. Phone reception varies across the board, but since the CURRENT incarnation lives in T-Mobile land, this will be a T-Mobile vs AT&T battle. (That of course is assuming the G1 has a decent radio inside and decent speakers and microphone.) Heck, when it comes to comparing new cellphones to the iPhone, the only real comparison is size and is it a multi-touch screen. Size, smaller but thicker. Multi-touch, no. There is my compairing. Everything else is something that has been around for a long time. Playing music on your phone? My Treo 600 could do it with Pocket Tunes years before the iPhone came out. Viewing MS Office files.. again stone ages. Modifying those same files appears to be a MS only thing right now so WinMo has the goods on that at the moment. The new phones now have the hardware that lets the screen orient according to the degree of tilt that it is being held at. (G-sensors some call them). Now THAT is a new benifit that the iPhone brought to light. But again.. hardware. No “claim” by iPhone means that bit of hardware will be seen in practically every new phone that wants to be useful and fun. (Again I point to HTC in their wisdom of taking the good they learn and putting it to use.) So yeah, the G1 is a good phone and has a great concept of “Open Open Open”, and that alone will make a big difference in the phone world. Android will be an amazing OS since it is available to EVERYONE to develop on. (And it can be loaded on other phones *XDA, and PPCGEEKS have had some fun with it on phones that are already available now* which adds to the only issue that can limit the change Google has on the phone world…) How far will the companies let users go with their soon to be new found phone freedoms. Dan Heese, CEO of Sprint, likes to tout how amazing the new devices are and that he wants people to get the most out of them. So I suppose the $99 unlimited everything plans will truly get a workout once people start using Android on their Sprint phones. Or even better, a bare minimum phone plan and an unlimited data package to give VoIP a real workout. The phone is nice, big, but nice. The real news is will the OS that runs the phone send the Telco’s running for cover?

  64. Marc: “ANYBODY can come up with killer apps”

    And the CARRIERS can refuse to load them. Witness tethering, VoIP, etc.

    Also, I’ll give you few months before ANYBODY writes some kind of malware and we’ll see how Google/T-Mobile handle it.

  65. But the whole point of Android is the open source of the apps. Don’t have to wait for a small development team from T-Mobile or whoever to come up with stuff, ANYBODY can come up with killer apps. Giving the short list of apps at launch isn’t very cool given that the point is that you’ll get a stream of apps. Some useless, some great. Just like the iPhone has.

    I’m all for Android, hope I can get info on a canadian carrier soon.

  66. HA, I guess people may forget, if there’s no iPhone, the Android phone will never looks like this.

    The only advantage of Android OS is that it’s able to be adapt by many phone manufacturer, but that’s it. Please don’t claim it’s better, it’s not.

    There’s no way to deny iPhone’s role in Smartphone history, whoever try to position themselves that way will fail in public eyes.

    I wanted to say this: iPhone is the greatest idea so far for a Smartphone, but if you’re looking for “one size fit all” product, may be it’s not that. Mind you’re already hold iPhone to a standard of perfection which never have a phone been able to do.

    So that means, no matter what the G1 have now, they’ll keep following what iPhone do.

    To compete with the iPhone, that’s only one way, invent like Apple. Then you earn the right to say the big word, otherwise, forget about it.

  67. @ Kontra:

    I couldn’t care less what open source promoters declare.

    I do care (and I think Apple should too) when top OS X developers with years of experience in the ecosystem and lots of ninja-apps under their belt declare that it doesn’t worth spending time to develop apps for the iPhone if this is how the game is played from Apple’s point of view.

    It’s them who’ve made OS X what it is and it’s them who can push the iPhone’s quality of apps over the top. It’s to Apple’s best interest to make their life easy and smooth.

  68. Steve Jobs: “Most of the things on it the iphone didn’t support when it was released.”

    I hope you can re-adjust your sarcasm detector.

  69. Justin: “neither T-Mobile nor Google will be lifting a finger to stop people from “fixing” any of this”

    That article did not say that at all:

    “Our impression was that as long as their use was relegated to a small percentage of owners, T-Mobile likely wouldn’t take action, though he did voice concerns over tethering apps and their effect on the network, with a clearly guarded eye to letting users have free reign.”

    We’ll see if T-Mobile is willing to cut its own throat.

  70. This list is total crap. Most of the things on it the iphone didn’t support when it was released. Flash? Didn’t have it. Silverlight? Didn’t have it. Exchange support? Didn’t have it. Video recording? Didn’t have it. A2DP? Nope. Sim unlocking? hahahaha! Etc., etc., etc… What sort of Steve Jobs kool-aid have you iDiots been drinking?

  71. Justin: “It lambasts Android/G1 for many things Apple is also guilty of”

    And that is the point.

    I wanted to underline some of the hypocrisy that was exhibited at the iPhone launch. People were screaming about the lack of tethering, VoIP, Flash, multiple carriers, 3G coverage, stereo Bluetooth, Exchange, video recording, camera flash, etc. Open source promoters were quick to claim that an “open” phone would take care of all that.

    Nearly two years after the iPhone announcement, an open source phone comes in with all the hype Google can muster…and we have pretty much the same “flaws.”

    Welcome to the wonderful world of American telephony. How does it feel?

  72. Oh yeah, it should also be noted that neither T-Mobile nor Google will be lifting a finger to stop people from “fixing” any of this. When someone released a teathering app for the iPhone it was immediately pulled by greedy suits. T-Mobiles CEO flat out said (in the same article), while they don’t encourage it, they would do nothing to stop someone from releasing such an app on Android. Android wins.

  73. Let us remove all the things from the list that the iPhone didnt have at launch or STILL doesnt have. After that let’s add all the benefits this has over the iPhone and see how that picture looks. This is the most skewed list ever. It lambasts Android/G1 for many things Apple is also guilty of and sings none of its praises.

    FYI You can buy this phone from T-Mobile for $399 outright with no contract and they will unlock it for you after 90 days, no questions asked (straight from the CEOs mouth – http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/23/t-mobiles-cto-on-g1-unlocking-and-tethering-plus-a-few-detai). No SIM hacking needed.

  74. Antonis: “these are strictly Apple’s policy”

    True. But do you think for a moment that if that NDA policy were to go away, open source promoters would declare iPhone an open platform? Not bloody likely.

  75. Charbax: “some totally third party may come and make something that fixes all those flaws…

    And pigs will fly too.

    “free VOIP instead of voice plans”

    Because, after all, phone carriers will just give away their source of revenue to you open and free.

  76. I think there is a confusion of “open” with “popular and easy to develop for”. The iPhone platform is closed because you cannot have developer forums accessible by the general public, you cannot have books being published for the platform, developers are not allowed to discuss how they go about solving their development problems. It is closed because you cannot have an open discussion about the platform. These restrictions are not dictated by the carriers, these are strictly Apple’s policy.

  77. This list is correct. But it still is 10x better then the iPhone, that is a certainty. Just cause it’s got a 10x better OS that is totally open source and unrestricted.

    I am not sure T-Mobile is going to allow VOIP apps on it. The fact that T-Mobile forces you to pay $1500 over two year contract, forces you to buy a voice plan, that is just ridiculous.

    But hey, this is just the first Android device. There are going to be tons more in the coming months. Motorola, Samsung and LG may do something that makes more sense. Or even actually some totally third party may come and make something that fixes all those flaws, is totally data-centric, based on open pre-paid or free VOIP instead of voice plans.

  78. Oh yes… Regarding open/closed:

    The iPhone is the most open phone ever created. The SDK is such an incredible development system that within 60 days of launch there were over 3000 applications available. Sounds pretty darn open to me.

    Now – if we see – and continue to see – a systematic censorship of apps by Apple I will complain too.

    • Excuse me! Apple being open!
      Here it is from a Developer:
      Apple’s applications are written in Objective C a non standardized language that is run on Apple products almost exclusively. Android is an extension of the Java language from Sun Microsystems.
      Now kids to program using Apple’s SDK you have to use a Mac so your already out $500-1100 and you havent even downloaded the SDK.
      Android on the other hand can be developed in textpad for
      G-d’s sake (personally I dont recomend it but you can). For a true IDE(Integrated Developing Environment) Android’s API suggest using Eclipse (by the way thats free too) can be run on ANY computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, Solaris). I have no interest in buying a Mac.
      Oh and about the Online music business it was a matter of time before someone did that Apple just happened to be there when it went down.

  79. I don’t understand why people trash Apple so badly. Yes they DO have a (in many ways) closed system. But Draconian?

    HEY FOLKS! Do you want to go back to the days when the only digital music was illegal? Does anyone remember that it was Apple that opened it up, convinced the music industry to sell music online, kept them from raising the price above $0.99 ??

    As for apps – do you rally want them to sell stuff that is a security risk to you? Do you want application to send your credit card number to someone else next time you buy a book at Powells Books online? (one of the last of the independent bookstores!) Complaining about VOIP? THERE ALREADY EXISTS A VOIP APPLICATION ON THE iPHONE! Called TruPhone.

    Do I wish Apple would be more open in their rules for acceptable apps? You betcha! But they are not the evil empire for crying out loud!

    You want evil… Who here trusts their personal data to Google? I don’t. Sure I use the search engine, but I will never have a gmail account. I don’t want anyone parsing my email, thank you.

    So GPhones & Android, good luck. But time will tell how you will do.

    (Disclosures: long Apple, I do not own any cell phone – a big waste of money unless you are a road warrior. Now – when Skype comes out on the iPod Touch, I will jump.)

  80. “if the iPhone came out with so many shortcomings?”

    But iPhone did come with many of these shortcomings:

    1 – 4, 13, 15 were and are still the case with the iPhone. One has to argue if the lack of Flash & Silverlight is a shortcoming or a feature, I’m leaning towards the latter :-)

    Next, 22 & 23 are the same with Apple. You must have an iTMS account to use the device. 25, again the same, you can only view and not edit some MS Office documents from very specific places only.

    As for 28 I think is completely wrong. It’s only the beginning and the SDK is already available. In the iPhone’s case it took almost 6 months after the device was released.

    I’d also argue that in the case of 29, things are not proving so rosy for Apple. There are numerous app rejections lately based on invisible rules that were not stated in the SDK usage agreement. The last blow is that the rejection response is now covered by an NDA! That means if your app gets rejected, you can’t even talk about it: http://ub0.cc/2y/07/p

    Overall I think that Google’s Android is a very positive move in the area of smart phones. I really hope it proves to be a strong slap in the face for Apple to realise that it should relax its stance with the iPhone restrictions. I’ve been hearing that the iPhone is a fantastic device, I fear that Apple is not helping the platform enough to become what it really can be. I can only hope some good, healthy competition from the Android platform will change this.

  81. Wolf: “Just realize you’re comparing a $550 phone with an $179 one.”

    How so?

    G1 with the standard 2GB memory, by the way, is more expensive than the low-end iPhone 8G when you add the cost of additional microSD memory card for an even comparison.

  82. I would love to see PORN apps on the Android phone. These should be best sellers. After all, half of all internet traffice is PORN.

    Since Google promises an open market, PORN applications should be allowed.

  83. Lisha: “T-Mobile wouldn’t let that happen”

    But that’s the whole point!

    When Apple does things to comply with phone carrier or music label dictates (like tethering, VoIP, DRM, etc) it’s labeled closed, walled garden, dictatorial, and so on. Unfortunately, the end user doesn’t care or understand where the problem is. They can’t use Skype and that’s all they know or care. All this nonsense about being “open” is just that. Who cares what Android (or iPhone, for that matter) can otherwise do if the functionality never reaches the end user!

    Most open source promoters gloss over this and I therefore listed some obvious “flaws” in their beloved Android phone that can’t deliver either. Yes, we know why there’s no VoIP on either the iPhone or the G1, and it’s not because Apple or Google can’t code it.

    “unlike Apple which only makes deals with carriers who promise to keep their draconian rules.”

    That’s nonsense. You think the same T-Mobile that won’t allow tethering or VoIP in the U.S. will suddenly allow it in Germany? Dream on.

  84. I’m baffled at some of the “shortcomings” on this list. You can’t use VOIP on Android. The application may not be on the phone when you buy it (T-Mobile wouldn’t let that happen, I’m sure) but you WILL see VOIP apps for Android, whether on the Android Market or just on the Web. Unlocking the SIM card? Come on, there’s no unlocking the SIM on the Apple, either, right? And look how many iphones are here in Israel (with their SIM’s unlocked, because that’s the only way you could run them here).

    The real problem here isn’t Android, it’s T-Mobile and US cell phone companies in general. You KNOW that T-Mobile wouldn’t allow that phone to be released as open as it could and should be. Just take a trip outside the US and see how much more open even the closed systems are in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Every cell phone you buy in the US from the carrier is seriously HOBBLED.

    Once you grasp that, you can move on. Fight the US cell phone companies by refusing to play their games. It won’t be long until Android is available on phones that aren’t tied to a US carrier and are as open as Android can be — unlike Apple which only makes deals with carriers who promise to keep their draconian rules.

  85. Jon: “iPhone users don’t want a keyboard. They want sleek and thin.”

    Yes, but the G1 is open.
    You know, unlike the dictatorial Apple, you can tether it, play Flash on it, use VoIP, plug in a regular headset, navigate via multi-touch, sync with PCs/Macs, record video on it, unlock the SIM card, change carriers, heck, you don’t even have to register with Google. Android, you see, is an open platform. Unlike Apple’s. It’s open. Who cares if it doesn’t have Skype! It’s open.

  86. I briefly wrote about the G1 on my blog today, but maybe I should have covered more of its shortcomings. As for it being an iPhone killer, there’s one other problem: iPhone users don’t want a keyboard. They want sleek and thin.

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