Android is upon us! The HTC G1 is now officially available in T-Mobile stores across the country. We already know that tons of internet pre-orders have been filled early but today is the day that you can walk into your local T-Mobile store and snag one right off the shelf (well, actually it became available last night in some locations). So how is the release being received? Are hoards of eager soon-to-be Android junkies lining up to get their G1 on? Yes and no, it would seem. There is definitely quite a bit of fanfare in certain areas. The image above for example, shows a line of about 150 people outside of a San Francisco store waiting eagerly to purchase the world’s first Android offering courtesy of HTC. There’s even a guy on stilts, umm, entertaining them. The Market Street store in San Fran was actually the first location to make the G1 available and it celebrated by handing out “I was the first to get it” t-shirts, a free 4 GB memory card for the first 100 G1 buyers and a raffle where the winner got $1,000 and a free G1. Woo hoo!

Unfortunately, not all locations saw the hoopla Market Street enjoyed. Sure, there are a few modest groups convening at various locations but we have plenty of emails and comments detailing a much different scene at tons of T-Mobile locations. Many describe empty stores and even an employee sitting “with his feet literally up on a desk.” Ouch. News that pre-order sales were not quite as fantastic as many had initially thought emerged last week and a generally lukewarm reception nation-wide might be an indicator that customer anticipation isn’t quite what it was hoped to be. Then again, HTC and T-Mobile aren’t the hype machine Apple is, so we would expect a more gradual sales curve compared to the mobs resulting from the iPhone 3G launch. Whatever the case, if you’ve been jonesing for an Android fix but wanted to check the G1 out in person as opposed to pre-ordering one online, get off your couch and head down to your local T-Mobile store. It sounds like they could use the company. If you want to know a bit more about the Market Street shindig, hit the read link.


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.