T-Mobile USA to launch second Google phone, dubbed myTouch, in AugustBy Peter Svensson, AP
Monday, June 22, 2009
T-Mobile to launch second Google phone in August
NEW YORK — T-Mobile USA’s follow-up to the first “Google phone” will go on sale in early August, the carrier said Monday.
The “T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google” will be a touch-screen phone and will lack the physical keyboard of the T-Mobile G1, the first phone that used Google Inc.’s Android software.
The G1 went on sale in October. T-Mobile has sold more than 1 million of the phones.
Google is giving away the software, because the company’s goal is to make Android the basis for phones across the industry, stimulating the use of its Web services on mobile devices.
Google is getting some traction. Verizon Wireless has said it will bring out an Android phone “in the near future.” Motorola Corp. is betting big on Android, and aims to have its first products out late this year.
But Android phones are facing strong competition. BlackBerrys from Research In Motion Ltd. are gaining ground among consumers. Apple Inc. launched a new iPhone model Friday and said that it sold more than a million units in the first three days. The Pre from Palm Inc. has gotten favorable reviews.
The myTouch looks much like an iPhone and has many of the same features, including a similarly sized screen. It will cost $199 with a two-year contract. It will ship with software that allows it to connect to corporate e-mail servers. Such software became available for download to the G1 some months after it launched.
Cole Brodman, T-Mobile USA’s chief technology officer, said the new phone should appeal to a much wider audience than the G1.
“We believe a lot of this market will come from people who are moving into the smart phone space for the first time,” Brodman said. G1 buyers “were much more of a tech-enthusiast, early adopter-type crowd.”
G1 owners will likely not be eligible for the subsidized $199 price for the myTouch, because the G1 came out so recently that T-Mobile has yet to recoup its subsidy through service fees. Many iPhone 3G owners are facing the same conundrum, as AT&T will not subsidize the newly released upgraded model until subscribers have “paid off” the subsidy.
Both the G1 and the myTouch are made by HTC Corp. of Taiwan, which cut its teeth making Windows Mobile-based smart phones.
T-Mobile USA is owned by Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany.
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