Google to sell unlocked G1 Android phone for developers

Development for Google’s Android platform gets a boost as registered developers will be able to buy an unrestricted handset for software testing use.

Google G1

Google's Android platform looks set to become even more popular among developers with the release of an unlocked handset for software and accessory creators.

The fully unlocked G1 handset normally sold locked to T-Mobile in the UK and US will cost developers $399 (300) and will initially be available directly from Google in both markets, as well as a further 16 including Germany, Japan, India, France, Taiwan, Poland and Hungary.

The developer hardware is called the Android Dev Phone 1, yet is the same as the G1 sold via T-Mobile. However, as there are no software restrictions on the device, users can directly load their own applications and test code straight to the unit rather than just relying on emulators to test code.

"The Android Dev Phone 1 is not intended for non-developer end users," Google warned in a statement. "Since the devices can be configured with system software not provided by or supported by Google or any other company, end users operate these devices at their own risk."

The phone is available to purchase now via the Android Market web site, but only to registered developers. Membership of the developer scheme costs just $25 (18), and phones are limited to one per member.

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