Since Apple launched the iPhone 15 months ago, it has defined, for many, what a smartphone experience should be. But now T-Mobile gives the iPhone a run for its money with the launch of the G1 smartphone, based on Google's Android platform. From the details that have emerged so far regarding the G1, Apple now has a reason to be looking over its shoulder.
Here is a look at how G1 and the iPhone compare to one another.
Platform and Device
In contrast to Apple, which built its own phone, operating system, and content ecosystem, the G1 is based on an open platform. That means any software publisher can design programs that run on the G1 and Google Android. The potential universe of T-Mobile G1 applications is huge. Yet, it's too early to know whether mobile application developers will flock to Android.
At least for now Apple has the upper hand when it comes to the device. The number of iPhone mobile applications (accessible via Apple's App Store) is growing every day. However, Apple's total control over the iPhone can also be bad because Apple can choose to exert too much control over what applications run on the iPhone and bar those that it doesn't like, upsetting users.
Hardware Specs G1 vs iPhone
Weight: T-Mobile G1 = 158g; Apple iPhone = 133g
Battery Life: T-Mobile G1 = 5 hours talk time, 130 hours standby; Apple iPhone = 5 hours talk time, 300 hours standby
Screen Size: T-Mobile G1 = 3.2in; Apple iPhone = 3.5in
Camera: T-Mobile G1 = 3Mp; Apple iPhone = 2Mp
Storage: T-Mobile G1 = 2GB (expandable to 8GB); Apple iPhone = 8GB or 16GB
The big difference between G1 and iPhone is how you put music, videos, games, and productivity applications on your phone. The iPhone has iTunes, mobile iTunes (for iPod Touch and iPhone) and the App Store.
Things work differently with T-Mobile's G1. The G1 doesn't require a desktop software program similar to iTunes to add content to your phone. Content can be added via a removeable storage card, but most content T-Mobile says will be downloaded using Wi-Fi connection.
Many Google applications will come pre-loaded onto the G1, for example push Gmail service, Google Maps functionality, Google Calendar, and YouTube. T-Mobile is only talking about a handful of third-party applications.
There are likely loads more to be announced leading up the G1's October 22 debut in the US. Some include a ShopSavvy, a program that turns your phone into a scanner able to read barcodes and deliver instant price comparisons and PedNav, and location-aware application that helps you find nearby public transit options and walking routes. These mobile applications will be available through Android Market - a competitor to Apple's App Store.