Google releases unlocked Android phone
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by David Masters
Google has released an unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1 smartphone that will work with any GSM simcard.
Renamed the Android Dev Phone 1, the SIM- and hardware-unlocked $399 model is designed for developers looking to fully customise the software on the handset.
Developers purchasing the handset will be also be able to debug any compatibility problems the G1 has with different types of hardware.
Only developers registered on the Android development site will be able to purchase the unlocked phone. Registration on the site costs $25.
Google has placed a purchase limit on the Dev Phone of one device per registered developer.
Google’s failure to release an unlocked Android handset for everyday consumers is likely to further frustrate smartphone lovers who want to buy a G1 but who don’t want to be locked into a T-Mobile contract.
Google has released the Dev Phone in 18 countries: the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary.