iWhat? Now it’s all about the G1 Google phone
It was a more relaxed affair than the frenzied iPhone launches of last year and this year. In fact, the first customers who lined up to buy G1, the first Google-powered phone, were specifically looking forward to life outside of iPhone.
Justin Hay, 26, who supports trading systems at a bank, said he was lined up on this cold October morning to get his hands on the next new thing.
“Everyone has an iPhone now,” he said, politely declining a tray of pastries offered by a T-Mobile USA employee.
Information technology professional Josh Levitsky, 34, conceded that his iPhone is easier to use than he expected G1 to be, but said he was looking forward to downloading some hot applications available on G1.
“Apple has a better interface right now but Android has a lot of potential,” said Levitsky, who turned up a 6AM to take second place in the line. A couple of hours later the line had swollen to about 30 people, primarily young men.
For now, Levitsky said he plans to keep his iPhone for work because it supports Microsoft email systems — whereas G1 doesn’t yet support corporate e-mail.
The reasons for choosing G1 appeared to change from person to person.
First in line, Ana Lopez, an 18-year-old day care worker, said she started to line up at a T-Mobile USA store in midtown Manhattan at 4.30 AM because she was looking for something different, a phone with a good camera and a physical keypad, instead of iPhone’s virtual keypad.
“With the iPhone you can’t text as well,” said Lopez.
Other G1 enthusiasts were excited about specific applications such as Google maps.
“I’m a native New Yorker and I still get lost,” said psychotherapist Aiesha Lang, 32.
Administrative assistant Lydia Cueto, 22, was looking forward to using G1′s comparison shopping feature whereby she can point the phone at a product bar code to check out whether its available at a cheaper price elsewhere.
Did her choice of G1 over iPhone also had something do with the carrier? “I’m not feeling AT&T,” said Cueto, referring to the exclusive U.S. provider for iPhone.
(Photo by Sinead Carew for Reuters)