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Published: September 23, 2008 at 4:32 PM
My order for the T-Mobile G1 (a.k.a. Google Phone, a.k.a. gPhone, a.k.a. Android Phone, a.k.a. HTC Dream, a.k.a. iPhone Killer) is in. As luck would have it my 2-year agreement was expiring so I was able to get the G1 at the upgrade price of $179.99—with tax and the other obligatory fees it rings up at about $202 bottom line. So why, with an expiring contract, would I choose the G1 over the iPhone? Android. One word; simple as that.
The iPhone is an elegant device that is maturing nicely thanks to its dedicated following and growing application library. That noted, the reason I opted not to get the iPhone is the same reason I don't own an iPod or a Mac—I feel as though I have no control over the device, its OS or its software. In justification to the previous comment, I've used Macs extensively, I've used iTunes, and I just don't get that sense of freedom that I get with other non-Mac devices. I realize there are (warranty voiding) options that will allow me to make modifications (jailbreak) to the iPhone, but I prefer to avoid anything with a connotation to jail.
In all seriousness, a perfect example of the freedom empowered by Android was illustrated during T-Mobile's G1 unveiling. During the Q-and-A session of the press conference, a reporter asked whether the G1 would be capable of acting as an Internet gateway for a laptop or other device (also known as tethering). The panel suggested that the G1 wasn't intended to be tethered, however, since both Google and T-Mobile have confirmed they will not be policing the Android application store it's possible for someone to develop an application capable of allowing device tethering. And tethering is just the beginning of the possibilities thanks to the flexibility of the open source operating system.
In the end, my decision to go with the G1 instead of the iPhone was based on my newly-discovered fondness of open source software. I'm finding myself to be a firm believer that the community is better at addressing the needs of its users than a proprietary entity is at calling the shots. Yeah, the iPhone is a sleek and attractive device, but the beauty of the T-Mobile G1 isn't on the outside, it's the Android on the inside.