Details of the rumored next-generation T-Mobile G2 phone have started to pop up on the Web. T-Mobile currently offers the G1, based on the Android operating system, an effort driven by Google and partners in the Open Handset Alliance.
The G2 will be thinner and not include the pull out keyboard of the original G1, according to Gizmodo, which published what it said were “spy photos” of the alleged, slick-looking device. Gizmodo also quoted an unnamed source as saying the device is due for release this May. The T-Mobile G2 will also sport a 3.2 megapixel camera and maintains an interface similar to the current G1.
The news comes at a time of red hot competition in the smart phone market led by Apple’s hot-selling iPhone and unprecedented download of applications for the device. Apple said there have been over 500 million downloads at its App Store for the iPhone.
A Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) spokesperson said the company had no comment on when the G2 might be available or its specifications. “‘When will we see the next Android device?’ has become the million dollar question!” she said in an e-mail sent to InternetNews.com. “Google doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation, and we don’t have anything to announce at this time.” T-Mobile also declined to comment on what it similarly called rumor and speculation.
Whenever it’s released, the G2 will face new competition. The big news at the recent Consumer Electronics Show was Palm’s Pre, a new generation of mobile device from the former market leader. The Pre is still in development, but its innovative interface tailored for the Web garnered plenty of interest.
“Palm’s been missing in action for so long, I was surprised it had something so interesting to show at CES,” Maribel Lopez, analyst with Lopez Research, told InternetNews.com. “This is a critical time for Google and the G1 because now there’s revived interest in Palm, along with Apple among developers.”
Lopez said she thinks the G1 has time to establish itself, but its backers need to meet their goal of branching out to multiple carriers and broader sales. Otherwise, developers will look elsewhere.
“There are so many mobile platforms out there now and the G1 hasn’t achieved big numbers. I’m not discounting them, because they’ve done well with things like search and mapping, which are critical applications for the device, but right now developers are thinking about the Pre,” she said.