Unlocked T-Mobile G1, Courtesy of Google

Consumers are often wondering how they can get the unlocked version of their favorite phone for use on their own carriers. Meanwhile, Android developers are often wondering how they can obtain an actual Android handset so they can test the applications they’re building on a real world device. Those two worlds collided today when Google announced Android’s Devices for Developers program.

The phone is technically called “Android Dev Phone 1″ but in reality is just an unlocked T-Mobile G1. I like how they put a number one on the end of that, indicating that Developers should have access to future devices unlocked as well.

Lets get this straight… this device is intended for developer use only but I see know why reason that you couldn’t use this device as your actual mobile phone. Here is the description google  provides:

The Android Dev Phone 1 is a SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked device that is designed for advanced developers. The device ships with a system image that is fully compatible with Android 1.0, so you can rely on it when developing your applications. You can use any SIM in the device and can flash custom Android builds that will work with the unlocked bootloader. Unlike the bootloader on retail devices, the bootloader on the Android Dev Phone 1 does not enforce signed system images. The Android Dev Phone 1 should also appeal to developers who live outside of T-Mobile geographies.

To purchase an Android Dev Phone 1 device, you must first register as an Android developer on the Android Market site, if you haven’t done so already. Once you’ve logged into your developer account on Android Market, you can purchase the device by clicking the “Purchase” link. To accommodate demand, there is a limit of 1 device per developer account, for now.

The device currently costs $399 (USD) (including free shipping in the US), and will be available for purchase in 18 international markets, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. We will continue to expand this program into new geographies over time. Check this page for updated information.

Note that Android Dev Phone 1 devices are not intended for non-developer end users. Since the devices can be configured with system software not provided by or supported by Google or any other company, end users operate these devices at their own risk.

Each developer can only buy 1 of these devices and you must be a registered developer on the Android Market. There are no requirements to become a developer but it does cost $25 plus the $399 device cost and you’re looking at $425 for a brand new, unlocked T-Mobile G1!

Now remember, this is supposed to be used for development so we’re not suggesting you go out and do this. But if you do, let us know how it works out!

This news comes at the end of an Android Developers Blog post that laregely focuses on an updated SDK release that offers some improvements on “future proofing” the platform so developers don’t get stuck referring to static, archaic code within their apps.

[Via ADC]

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  • Édouard

    Yes, great news if you do not take into account the shipping fee of $183,81 (at least, from France)!

  • Johan

    Because I live in the Netherlands, am a developer, believes that Android is a good mobile platform and want to develop for it, I ordered an Android Developer Phone yesterday. Directly after ordering I get an email (confirming the order) but now I don’t know when I will get the phone.

    The track order options says that I didn’t order anything. I think this page will only be active when the order will be shipped. Hopefully I get more details soon about when I can except the phone.

  • Johan

    Send a email about the track order page and got a quick response. There are some technical problems with this page but my dev phone will be shipped no later than 12/12.

  • Phong Ng.

    @Johan: How is the phone? Does it have all the functions as the commercial T-Mobile version?
    I’m gonna order one :)

  • Johan

    Got an email today that my Android Dev Phone is shipped. A tracking number is supported but when using this on the UPS site it gives a message that no tracking details can be given at this time.

    Are there already people who got the Android Dev Phone? And how is it comparing to the G1?

  • Johan

    Phone arrived today. I am a happy person :D

  • Phong Ng.

    How is it man? :)
    BTW, including the Android Market registration and the shipping, how much does it cost in total?

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  • nl guy

    Johan,

    some people report very high shipping costs. I’m also in NL and it would be great if you can share total price (phone + shipment costs) with us.

    Does the phone have all features like commercial G1?

  • pix

    I ordered and received the Developer G1. You are correct, the tracking system was totally useless, but the phone did get shipped and arrived in good condition.

    I’m an AT&T subscriber, so I used my AT&T SIM…that was not too much fun, as there were pretty scarce instructions for configuring the APN info for AT&T, but it now works.

    I don’t have 3G working, just EDGE…don’t know what I’ve got misconfigured.

    One thing to note…I could only get the phone to work (WiFi included) after I configured the APN info, so don’t plan on trying to use the device without already having a valid data plan configured correctly in your device.

    Overall, a positive experience on a really nice device. Touchscreen is pretty darn nice. Keyboard is very nice. No way to directly import AT&T SIM card based contact list into Android contact list…bummer…import application should have worked, but process reported that the SIM contact list was not present (although it is present). Lots of really useful free apps to make the device into a very nice tool.

    Got to thank the Google folks for making this device available to the developer community…nice works folks!

  • http://www.smallworks.com Jim Thompson

    ‘pix’,

    You don’t have anything misconfigured, The G1 (including the Dev Phone) operates 3G on “3G WCDMA (1700/2100 MHz)”, and GSM (including EDGE) on “Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)”.

    AT&T’s 3G service is on

    AT&T does not use 2100MHz in the United States. Rather they’ve deployed in parallel on 850MHz and 1900Mhz.

    2100MHz is the world-wide 3G “band”, and while the FCC freed up a segment of 2100MHz, its not the entire segment.

    What this means is that only a portion of Europe’s segment is available for use in the US. Existing phones like the E90 which expect to be able to use the entire segment for HSDPA will not work on the abbreviated US band.

    Due to the ‘tight’ spectrum, the GSM carriers who are deploying 3G in the US have to use additional frequency bands. AT&T uses 1900. T-Mobile is currently deploying on 1700MHz in the US and will soon begin adding the abbreviated 2100MHz US segment. This is why the G1 phone uses 1700MHz and 2100MHz for 3G.

    Now, Could you share the details of configuring the APM for AT&T into a G1 dev phone? Mine is on the way…. :-)

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