We're about 14 hours away from the T-Mobile/Google Android phone launch
event and the rumor mill is heating up. Here's a quick rundown of what
may or may not be in store for us when T-Mo and Google take the wraps
off of the first Android-powered mobile phone tomorrow in midtown
Manhattan. Don't forget you can follow all of the action live as it happens on my liveblog page, starting at 10:30 AM ET on Tuesday 9/23.
Tricia Duryee of moconews has a nice rumor round-up page
that highlights some of the best predictions for what we'll see in the
way of services and potential marketshare for tomorrow's launch and
Android as a platform in general. I'll paraphrase her list and add a
few items of my own here, and tack on my best guesses as to whether or
not each item will come true tomorrow morning. Can't wait to see how
wrong I am!
Rumor: $199 with two-year contract
Comment: All but certain. Sets up direct competition with
iPhone 3G. Big question is will it be available without a contract,
and what will that price be?
Rumor: The device is called the HTC G1 and looks as it does in those spyshots that have been floating around the Web.
Comment: I really, really hope that Google/T-Mo/HTC have been
planting engineering demos as "leaks" and actually have a whiz-bang
design ready to be unveiled tomorrow morning. It's not that the G1
we've seen in photos looks that bad (though it kinda does, if you ask
me), but it's more that we're all hoping to have our socks knocked off
by the first Google phone. Also, I'm still not so sure about that
flush left QWERTY board. But my head and heart both tell me that odds
are better than not that what we've seen is what we'll get. And an
accidentally leaked ad on my.tmobile.com earlier this week points
towards "G1" as the official name of the device.
Rumor: Free Gmail service with phone, no data plan required
Comment: There's been lots of talk about Google providing free
services to users willing to deal with ads on their phones. Gmail's
the perfect place to try this out. Email is more of a killer app than
Web browsing and its less data-intensive, as well. I'd be very curious
to see an implementation of ad-subsidized Gmail tomorrow morning,
that's for sure.
Rumor: Amazon Music and Video Stores compatibility
Comment: This makes all kinds of sense. With a native app for
Amazon Music and Video, Google gets themselves an iTunes competitor
without having to build and/or run anything. Perfect. Works for
Rumor: Android Remote Built-in
Likelihood: 30% (at launch), 100% (near term add-on)
Using your smartphone as a remote control for the TV, DVD Player, PVR,
Digital Music Server, PC, etc, etc makes a lot of sense. Now that
Apple's got the iRemote for iPhone launched and running, and AT&T
is talking about giving iPhone remote control capabilities over its
U-Verse connected home system, it only makes sense that the Androids,
Windows Mobiles, and Symbians of the world would want similar
functionality, too. In fact, some of them already have it. I don't
think we'll see an Android Remote app at launch tomorrow, but this mocoNews piece from last week details already-underway efforts to get PacketVideo's PVConnect software running on Android.