Google Makes Unlocked Android Phone Available for $400

Developers and other technical users who are interested in Google's Android smart phone but don't want to be locked into the lackluster T-Mobile wireless service now have another option: Google is selling unlocked versions of the phone for $399. The device is described as the Android Dev Phone 1 and is aimed at programmers who want to gain experience with the new platform.

"The Android Dev Phone 1 is carrier independent, and available for purchase by any developer registered with Android Market," a Google statement reads. The software on the device includes Web browsing, a customizable home screen, one-touch Google search, access to the Android Market, full-featured Google applications (including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, and Google Talk), SMS and MMS functionality, and a media player.

The Android Dev Phone 1 can use any cell phone SIM card, so it will work on virtually any cell phone network, and it appears to be mostly identical to the T-Mobile G1. It's available to users in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland and Hungary.

To purchase the phone, you have to join the Android developer program, which adds an additional $25 fee. You can then purchase the device via Google's online Android Market. Only one phone is available per user.

For more information, please visit the Android Web site.

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