Can Android be truly ‘open’ on the T-Mobile-locked G1?

September 23, 2008
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All the way up until the official announcement of the T-Mobile G1 phone, we constantly heard about T-Mobile's status as a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance and how Android was to be a truly open piece of software, allowing third-party developers to not only create applications for Android, but to actually change the software itself for improved functioning.

And while this all has been confirmed as of this morning we also learned that the G1 would be locked to T-Mobile. And while it's pretty standard these days for phones to be locked to specific carriers, it still raises some questions. For instance, can you truly have an "open" piece of software if it is officially restricted to just one carrier?

There's already a thread going about the subject in our Forums and many seem to think there will be an iPhone-style rush to unlock the G1 in the coming days and weeks. Does this mean there will be a G1 Dev Team, too?

And while a mad dash to unlock the G1 still remains to be seen, the fact that we even have to have this conversation is a tad bit unsettling. After all, isn't the entire point of an Open Handset Alliance to maintain an open attitude and allow for the free exchange of ideas for the betterment of the final product? That's what I took it to mean, anyway.

What do you think? If the G1 is locked to T-Mobile can Android be truly allowed to grow to its fullest potential? Or am I just overreacting?


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