The T-Mobile G1 Android device, which is manufactured by HTC, was made available at a T-Mobile shop in San Francisco before anywhere else in the US. The Google Android smartphone attracted a queue of about 150 people, headed by student Christopher Laddish.
"I was sold on it without even having to pick it up," said Laddish. He was wearing a t-shirt given to him by T-Mobile that read: "I was the first to get it".
The T-Mobile G1 has a 3.2in touchscreen display that slides away from the main body of the phone to expose a qwerty keyboard. That puts it into competition with other smartphones such as RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's popular iPhone.
"I've been reading a lot about the phone for the last couple of weeks and I'm not really a big fan of the Apple iPhone touchscreen," said Chijioke Amah, who was also queuing up to buy the T-Mobile G1. "That's probably what made me less interested in the Apple iPhone. When I heard T-Mobile was going to have the Google phone with a keyboard - that's what got my attention."
Amah, who confessed to being a Mac user, said he isn't sold on the idea of typing on a touchscreen and so decided the T-Mobile G1 would be a better choice than the Apple iPhone as he switches from his current BlackBerry.
The G1 will go on sale in the UK next Thursday and will be available on a contract with prices starting from £40 per month.