The wait is over.
Google’s open source phone operating system is shipping today (October 23, 2008) initially at T-Mobile. The current selection of phones is slim (and ugly in my opinion) with only an HTC slider (The G1). Since Android is an open source phone software, it means that carriers can freely incorporate it into their handsets.
Unfortunately the G1 design, while incorporating a keyboard, is a rather tired looking copy of the T-Mobile Sidekick. Currently this is the only phone on the market that comes pre-loaded with the Android operating system. There will undoubtedly be several additional models introduced by other carriers over the next six to nine months.
Remember that since Android is an open source operating system that carriers are free to use it without any payment. They also likely will modify it to provide a customized look and feel. Due to the open source nature of the software there will not be any exclusivity period with one carrier.
You’ll quickly see other carriers pick this up and by the middle of next year I think all the major USA based operators will have at least one Android phone.
Here are the quick specifications:
- Touch Screen
- QWERTY Keyboard
- One-Touch Google Search
- Real Web Browsing
- Easy Access to Google Apps
- 3G Network and Wi-Fi Access
- 3.2 Megapixel Camera
- YouTube™ Videos
- Music Player
- Android™ Market
- Customizable Home Screen
For more information you can check out T-Mobile’s Android G1 site at the link below (My recommendation is to wait and see what other phone models might be introduced in the next 6 months).