T-Mobile USA plans to launch in early August the myTouch 3G, the follow-up to the T-Mobile G1, the first phone powered by Google's ( GOOG) Android software. T-Mobile, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom ( DT), said the myTouch 3G adds new features that build on its predecessor. The phone offers a touch-screen display with virtual keyboard, as opposed to the physical keyboard of the T-Mobile G1.
"T-Mobile myTouch 3G puts you first, so you can create a mobile experience that is truly your own," said Denny Marie Post, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA, in a statement. "There's no cookie-cutter approach to myTouch. Inside and out, there are boundless possibilities for personalization so you can put your personal touch on the phone and make it uniquely yours."
The G1, since it went on sale in October, has sales of more than 1 million. The myTouch looks much like an iPhone from Apple ( AAPL) and has many of the same features, including a similarly sized screen. It will cost $199 with a two-year contract. It will ship with software that allows it to connect to corporate e-mail servers. Such software became available for download to the G1 some months after it launched. Cole Brodman, T-Mobile USA's chief technology officer, said the new phone should appeal to a much wider audience than the G1. "We believe a lot of this market will come from people who are moving into the smart phone space for the first time," Brodman said. G1 buyers "were much more of a tech-enthusiast, early adopter-type crowd."
G1 owners likely won't be eligible for the subsidized $199 price for the myTouch, because the G1 came out so recently that T-Mobile has yet to recoup its subsidy through service fees. Many iPhone 3G owners are facing the same conundrum, as AT&T won't subsidize the newly released upgraded model until subscribers have "paid off" the subsidy. Both the G1 and the myTouch are made by HTC Corp. of Taiwan. "The G1 was highly successful and captured the imagination of thousands of developers as the first Android-powered phone," said Andy Rubin, vice president, mobile platforms at Google. "With myTouch, T-Mobile is poised to capture the imagination of consumers everywhere, and by expanding the availability and appeal of Android-based devices, they're giving developers a bigger market for the next wave of killer Android applications."