Have they formed an alliance with Dell or what?!
Google has started selling an unlocked version of the G1, at $399 a pop, that can be used on any network anywhere in the world - though the search giant will skin you for another $200 in shipping if it gets the chance. The handset, which Google terms the Android Dev Phone 1, comes completely unlocked - able to use any GSM SIM …
The phone is supposed to be for developers.
Moreover, one of the interest for developers is that the bootloader is specific and allows you to completely reflash the OS.
And for shipping costs, read the small lines ...
"Outside the US
For Orders shipping outside the US, shipping pricing includes cost of
shipping service and the applicable customs, duties, import and
country specific other fees."
Because you want to do business with a company which produces products that work better than anything else out there?
Remember when Google Maps came out? The best that the other mapping people could do was 'click here to scroll left... in thirty seconds. Maybe. By half a screen length.' Then they'd added satellite view before the rest had done smooth scrolling, and then added the ability to look around at street level - which, despite El Reg's bizarre (and ironic, given their home country) obsession with cameras, is a really *fucking* useful tool if you're trying to find your way around, say, Manhattan.
Oh, and gMail? And let's not forget that little search thing.
That's why you'd want to feed the googlebeast. If there's gonna be a beast, it might as well be one that's so fucking GOOD at what it does.
These things are built in china, like everything else.. the whole 'outside the US' thing is just an excuse to charge a premium.
Hell it doesn't normally cost that even direct from the US via UPS (which I would never use anyway because the have a habit of slapping extra charges on the recipient for fun). No idea where they're getting numbers like that from.
I suppose this is a stupid question, but one likes to know for sure - does this mean that I can buy this and then put Debian on it with little to no fuss? And thereby get the equivalent of an Openmoko Freerunner that actually, y'know, works, and has a hardware keyboard to boot, albeit at half the screen resolution? Because if so, I'm sold...
"Because you want to do business with a company which produces products that work better than anything else out there?"
seriously, its not that good, there's considerably better GPS systems than googlemaps and isn't manhattan just a big grid? gmail, not really particularly amazing now is it, be honest! and as for that search thing, don't believe the hype Dave!
if you don't mind being tracked 247 and your (highly detailed) profile (inc movements) being sold to the highest bidder you carry on. Its touching to see how they love the googlebeast.
I'm not totally sure about this, but I thought David Wiernicki's larger point was that you're basically being tracked, butt-probed, and sold to the highest bidder anyway. So that being the case, you might as well go with the one that allegedly provides at least some kind of halfway-useful service in exchange. And although I'm not totally sold on that line, I don't really think there exists a single provider that DOESN'T basically view you as just an insignificant little morsel of meat to be sucked dry and spat out. So if the Googlebeast gives you something of value, why not?
Yes, you could put Debian on it --- that's just a matter of wiping the userland and replacing it --- but you may not want to; in order to be a functional phone you'll need to load the radio stack software onto the other processor, have a UI for making calls, etc, and AFAIK that's all done by the userland. If you just want an ARM in a box that'll run code, I'd suggest the BeagleBoard instead, which is a lot cheaper (and, interestingly enough, will run Android).
Thank you for clarifying that.
Regarding the BeagleBoard idea, I'd love to do something like that... In fact, "an ARM box that'll run code" is precisely what I want, with, as Kryten would say, just two small problems: I have yet to find anyone, anywhere who will actually sell a 640x480 (or even 800x480) LCD in the ten to thirteen centimeter size range in unlts of fewer than a bazillion at a time. I know that I could, if I wanted to put up with the baked-in suck and lock-down, theoretically get a Sharp Zaurus or a Nokia N810, but both seem horribly crippled by design in so many ways. My Google-fu fails me.
So... You wouldn't happen to know where I could get such a thing (specifically, the LCD), would you? I mean, all the OTHER necessary hardware (BeagleBoard, Gumstix, other parts, etc) is all available, but as far as I can tell, not a screen to go with it.
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