September 23, 2008 Consumers will soon get a taste of the much anticipated Android operating system with the launch of the T-Mobile G1 handset. Developed in partnership with Google and designed by HTC, the handset features full touch-screen functionality, a sliding QWERTY keyboard and one-handed trackball navigation options and is loaded with a host of familiar web applications from Google as well as providing access to the open platform Android Market.

The T-Mobile G1 incorporates a full HTML Web browser with touch-to-zoom functionality and one-click contextual search plus built-in support for Wi-Fi and T-Mobile’s 3G and EDGE network. e-mail syncs with calendar and contacts from Gmail as well as most other POP3 or IMAP e-mail services and you can read a Web page and download e-mail simultaneously.

There's also a 3MP auto-focus camera and a pre-loaded music application developed by Amazon.com that provides access to more than 6 million DRM-free MP3 tracks.

Other Google applications bundled with the G1 include YouTube, Calendar, and Maps, which syncs with the built-in compass on the phone and lets you navigate through 360 degrees by moving the handset. Instant Messaging support is included for Google Talk™ as well as AOL®, Yahoo! Messenger ® and Windows Live Messenger in the U.S.

Then there's the Android Market. When it hits stores next month the G1 will be the first phone to provide access to a range of software applications available on this open development platform. Among the applications already flagged by T-Mobile are ShopSavvy, which compares shopping prices when a product's UPC code is captured using the phone’s camera, Ecorio, which tracks your carbon footprint looks like and BreadCrumbz, which lets you create your own visual maps based on photos.

The T-Mobile G1 can now be pre-ordered in the US with official release set for October 22 for a price of USD$179 (with a two-year voice and data agreement). United Kingdom customers will see the phone in November and the rest of Europe will have to wait until Q1 2009.