G2 (and G3!) rumours surface, debate over release date

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t-mobile-g2.jpgIt’s no secret that, badass as the T-Mobile G1 is, it’s not a perfect device. The keyboard’s a little clunky, the GPS is a bit iffy from time to time, and there’s a fair bit of functionality missing out of the gate. That said, it’s the closest competitor we’ve had to the iPhone’s dominance, so many people are praying for a decent second iteration of the device.

I have little doubt that the rumours that surfaced over the weekend owe more to that yearning than any factual reality. First off, a site called CellPhone Signal posted a specs list for a “G2” that seems plausible, but tacked on a deeply unrealistic release date of January 26th.

The specs list included a 5-megapixel camera, removal of the QWERTY keyboard, a memory card slot, and a VGA camera for video calling. Boy Genius Report confirmed the specs with a different source, but that source claims a much-more-likely release date of April. To add to the frenzy, BGR also mentioned a possible G3 coming “not that far after the G2”.

So where does all that leave us? We have the rumour that the G1 will be followed up by a G2 and G3. I’d rank that one as likely. We have a plausible specs list for the G2, which basically reads like a touchscreen Nokia N95. Lastly, we have a rather implausible release date of Jan 29th, and a more likely one of ‘April’.

I’m sure that T-Mo and Google will follow up the G1, and that they’ve learnt something from the release of the device. I’m sorry to hear that they might be dropping the QWERTY keyboard, though – it was one of the features that G1 users liked over the iPhone.

As for the software, well, Android is constantly improving, thanks to its community of app developers. Although the Android Market’s a little spammier than the iPhone App Store, there’s a bunch of stuff available there that you can’t get on Apple’s flagship product.

GoogleWatch has an interesting analysis of whether a rapid launch of the G2 would be a good business move for the companies or not. The site concludes that, on balance, the April timeline will prove to be the ‘killer strategy’ if tied into a good video calling app.

One thing’s for certain – we’ve not see the last of Google and Android. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Android takes a commanding share of the smartphone market in 2009. It’ll depend largely on what happens with the iPhone – and most analysts are only expecting an incremental upgrade. That leaves the door wide open, but will consumers bolt? We’ll have to wait and see.

(via Cellphone Signal, BGR and Googlewatch)

Related posts: Get an “Android Dev Phone 1” (that’s a Google G1 phone) by becoming a “developer” | T-Mobile G1 unlocked already, market traders rub hands with glee

Duncan Geere