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Google Android just five weeks away?

T-Mobile asks $399, Google demands your soul

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This week, another unnamed source told TmoNews - a T-Mobile obsessed blog - that the American wireless carrier will offer up the first Android phone for pre-sale on 17 September.

Back in June, sources told The Wall Street Journal that Google's currently closed open mobile platform could be delayed until 2009.

But this "trusted source" says that T-Mobile's Android - manufactured by Taiwan-based outfit HTC - will retail at a hefty $399. TmoNews calls the phone "the G1" - "codename or real name, we're not sure" - but it would appear this is the so-called HTC Dream that recently popped up on YouTube.

The G1 pre-sale will last for one week, the blog says, and during that time, the phone will be available only to existing T-Mobile customers. And it seems those existing customers can grab one for $250 below the retail price. "Other customers interested in the G1 may have to wait until beginning/mid October before a national public launch," TmoNews continues.

The blog goes on to say that the G1 will include a 5 x 3in touchscreen, a slide-out Qwerty keyboard (as seen in that blurred YouTube video), and a three-megapixel camera.

Our favorite bit: TmoNews says that you won't be able to use the G1 without a Google Gmail account. We plan to boycott the phone for that reason alone. ®

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