I had a chance to spend a little time with an early Android device at Mobile World Congress and the latest news is that HTC is still on track to deliver the first Android device before the end of 2008. According to TmoNews we may even be able to order one as early as 17 September from T-Mobile USA. I am returning my iPhone 3G today and if this rumor is true I think this will be my next mobile purchase.
According to their trusted source the Open Handset Alliance/Google Android phone will be priced at US$399 full price or US$150 for existing T-Mobile customers. Apparently, you may have to be an existing customer to get in on the mid-September pre-sale so my patience with staying with T-Mobile for the last 6 years and waiting for their 3G network may finally pay off. T-Mobile USA has been good at rolling out UMA and some other interesting technologies, but is way behind on 3G and high end smartphones and really needs something like an Android device to bring in subscribers to compete with AT&T and the iPhone or Verizon/Sprint and their high speed EV-DO networks.
Rumored specs of this first product have the device running 3G (there may actually be a higher data plan required too), touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a 3 megapixel camera. I use quite a few Google services and am very interested in a device optimized for these services and running 3G with T-Mobile since I always have a very strong T-Mobile signal where I live and work. Thanks to the Boy Genius Report for the link.