Tag Archives | G1

Did Google Really Cripple Android to Please Apple?

google_g1_logoVentureBeat has one of the more surprising stories that I’ve seen so far this year: that Google may have intentionally crippled Android in an effort to please Apple. Multi-touch support was apparently part of the G1 until Cupertino got wind of it, the site reports.

Apple asked Google not to use the technology, and it was removed. Something tells me it wasn’t just a simple “please:” look at the company’s not-so-veiled threats against Palm. It appears as if Apple is going to be quite protective of its intellectual property, and the functionality that separates the iPhone from the pack.

I personally do not like the fact that Google caved in so easily. While yes, Apple does have a significant stake in multi-touch as Harry pointed out in January, companies should not let this get in the way of innovation. In fact, its questionable whether apple was really the first to come up with the multi-touch user interface.

Then again, I see why Google would want to please Apple. The two companies are quite close, and Google’s mapping software is one of the signature featurs of the iPhone. Add to this the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an Apple board member, and well, you can see why they might be more willing to bend over backwards.

Personally, I think its only a matter of time — probably months — before Google has to turn to Apple and say, “I’m sorry, but business is business.”


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Take that Apple: Google Sells Unlocked G1

google_g1_logoIf you’re not on T-Mobile because you either aren’t in their coverage area or don’t want to be, yet want a G1, you’re now in luck. Google has announced a developer program where the company will offer an unlocked G1 for $399 in exchange for registration on the Android Market site as a developer.

Each developer would be limited to 1 device, although Google adds the caveat “for now,” suggesting that it may expand the limit to multiple devices in the future.

The SIM-unlocked device will function just the same as the T-Mobile G1 does, save for the obvious lock-in to the carrier. In addition, the device would not enforce signed system images, allowing for further development possibilities.

Obviously, since the device is not intended for public consumption, Google’s not going to provide any kind of support for the device. However, if its anything like the black market unlocked iPhones developed, enterprising third-party developers will step in to fill that void.

The offer will be available to developers in the following countries: the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Google hopes to expand the program elsewhere in the coming months.

Even though it seems as if the company is trying to keep end users out, I can’t see why the G1 wouldn’t see a similar reaction as the unlocked iPhone did. While it certainly is not to the scale the iPhone had, Google’s first Android phone has performed past some of the rosiest sales expectiations of industry analysts.

About 1 million units are expected to be shipped by HTC by the end of this year, which is about twice what was anticipated. There are going to be some hardcore users outside of T-Mobile that will happily pay a premium for the device I’d think. After all, people were crazy enough to pay $600+ for an iPhone.


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