Google starts selling unlocked G1
Shipping in gold envelopes?
Google has started selling an unlocked version of the G1, at $399 a pop, that can be used on any network anywhere in the world - though the search giant will skin you for another $200 in shipping if it gets the chance.
The handset, which Google terms the Android Dev Phone 1, comes completely unlocked - able to use any GSM SIM and run unsigned applications. It's aimed at developers living beyond the reach of T-Mobile, the only network subsidising the handset, though it may appeal to anyone who doesn't want to be beholden to a network operator.
Several people have managed to unlock the G1s supplied by T-Mobile, though the process is not for the faint-hearted, and the price is about what T-Mobile already charges for an unlocked handset in the USA - so not unreasonable even if you have to pay the $25 Android Marketplace registration fee first.
The shipping costs, however, are less reasonable unless you're in the US: Google apparently wants $130 to ship north of the border to Canada, and just over $200 for shipping to India. Even crossing the pond to Blighty will set you back $170 - for that price we'd expect Larry to bring the handset over personally on a silken cushion.
We've contacted Google to confirm these prices, ask about the kind of envelopes it's using, and will let you know when/if the company gets back to us. ®
Google Android phone review
Thank you for clarifying that.
Regarding the BeagleBoard idea, I'd love to do something like that... In fact, "an ARM box that'll run code" is precisely what I want, with, as Kryten would say, just two small problems: I have yet to find anyone, anywhere who will actually sell a 640x480 (or even 800x480) LCD in the ten to thirteen centimeter size range in unlts of fewer than a bazillion at a time. I know that I could, if I wanted to put up with the baked-in suck and lock-down, theoretically get a Sharp Zaurus or a Nokia N810, but both seem horribly crippled by design in so many ways. My Google-fu fails me.
So... You wouldn't happen to know where I could get such a thing (specifically, the LCD), would you? I mean, all the OTHER necessary hardware (BeagleBoard, Gumstix, other parts, etc) is all available, but as far as I can tell, not a screen to go with it.
Yes, you could put Debian on it --- that's just a matter of wiping the userland and replacing it --- but you may not want to; in order to be a functional phone you'll need to load the radio stack software onto the other processor, have a UI for making calls, etc, and AFAIK that's all done by the userland. If you just want an ARM in a box that'll run code, I'd suggest the BeagleBoard instead, which is a lot cheaper (and, interestingly enough, will run Android).
@Alex (re "woaha Wiernicki!!")
I'm not totally sure about this, but I thought David Wiernicki's larger point was that you're basically being tracked, butt-probed, and sold to the highest bidder anyway. So that being the case, you might as well go with the one that allegedly provides at least some kind of halfway-useful service in exchange. And although I'm not totally sold on that line, I don't really think there exists a single provider that DOESN'T basically view you as just an insignificant little morsel of meat to be sucked dry and spat out. So if the Googlebeast gives you something of value, why not?
"Because you want to do business with a company which produces products that work better than anything else out there?"
seriously, its not that good, there's considerably better GPS systems than googlemaps and isn't manhattan just a big grid? gmail, not really particularly amazing now is it, be honest! and as for that search thing, don't believe the hype Dave!
if you don't mind being tracked 247 and your (highly detailed) profile (inc movements) being sold to the highest bidder you carry on. Its touching to see how they love the googlebeast.
Watch out for the frequencies on the 3G bands, it only uses 1700/2100, which makes it useless for anybody in Canada or South America.