By now, you might have read Bonnie Cha and Nicole Lee's review of the T-Mobile G1, which goes on sale Wednesday. As one of the most anticipated cell phones of the year, the G1 had me on the edge of my seat the moment T-Mobile announced it. I wasn't part of the formal CNET review, but I relished the opportunity to get some one-on-one time with the device.
As Bonnie and Nicole rightfully point out, the G1's design isn't the most inspiring, and it lacks some needed features, but I still applaud HTC and T-Mobile for taking this step. Though it isn't perfect, and I can't think of a phone that is, the G1 is a great start on a new way to think about the mobile industry. It is much more than just another phone; the G1's real appeal lies in its promise of an open-source device that puts control in the hands of users. Whether the G1 will really deliver on that promise remains to be seen, but I think it has a lot of potential to do so.
The "walled garden" is a concept you hear a lot in the cell phone world. Basically, it describes an environment where one party controls every aspect of the user experience, from the handset to the service to the applications. For much of the mobile phone industry's life in the United States, that party has been the carrier. Yet, ever since the iPhone burst onto the scene 15 months ago, that concept has begun to change. … Read more