| NEW YORK, June 22
NEW YORK, June 22 T-Mobile USA will begin
selling a new smartphone using Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android
operating software in August, facing off against high-end
devices such as Apple's latest iPhone and the Palm Pre.
T-Mobile, an arm of Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) and the No.
4 U.S. mobile service, said the myTouch 3G phone is a slimmer
and more advanced version of the G1, which was also made by
Taiwan's HTC Corp (2498.TW) and based on Android technology.
The new phone will cost $199, the same as the 16-gigabyte
model of Apple Inc's APPL.O iPhone 3GS and Palm Inc's
PALM.O Pre after a rebate for a two-year service contract.
MyTouch's advantage is that the phone can be personalized,
such as with custom home screens and widgets, T-Mobile said.
The Android platform can also learn user preferences and offer
"The story is personalization," said Andrew Sherrard, vice
president of product innovation at T-Mobile. The iPhone had a
"beautiful aesthetic, but you can't change it," he said.
Cupertino, California-based Apple introduced the iPhone two
years ago, and it quickly became a consumer phenomenon and
upped the game for other phone makers, including the more
business-oriented BlackBerry from Research in Motion Ltd
Apple's latest iPhone, 3GS, hit stores last Friday with new
features and faster speeds, intensifying competition in the
high-end mobile device market. Apple and its U.S. carrier
partner, AT&T Inc (T.N), also cut the price of an older iPhone
With more and more models on the market, there are
questions what the market can support.
An outlook by RIM on Thursday that fell short of some
investors' expectations stoked concerns about consumer spending
and fears that the smartphone market has become more cluttered
T-Mobile's Sherrard acknowledged the economy has been weak,
but said consumers will continue to seek feature-rich phones.
"We're still living in a recessionary environment," he
said. "But people have hung onto their wireless devices. It's
become the way they communicate."
The myTouch features a touch-screen display, and a
3.2-megapixel camera, a music player, and video capabilities to
make it easier for users to share pictures and videos on sites
like YouTube and Picasa.
The phone is also more lightweight in design compared to
the G1, and will have longer battery life, T-Mobile said. It
will come in white, black and wine red.
Customers already using T-Mobile can pre-order myTouch from
July 8 onwards, and begin receiving the new gadget from July
29, the company said, adding that the price for upgraded users
has not yet been finalized. T-Mobile expects more than half of
the new phone's buyers to be existing customers.
(Editing by Leslie Adler)