T-Mobile and Google went out of their way to drain the potentially intimidating geek factor out of the G1. They want this to be a mainstream, slightly upscale consumer phone befitting its subsidized price of $179. T-Mobile was careful to demonstrate the handset's consumer-friendly driving experience using a video laden with jump-cuts, and in which a finger prominently obscured the display. T-Mobile hastened to qualify the video as a "just a teaser." It ushered attendees of the launch event to rooms downstairs where devices were available to touch and drive. I will find my own way to drive the G1 between now and the launch date. YouTube renderings of the experience will abound in the meantime. If they're not shot with T-Mobile's press conference table in the background, suspect it as a fake.
If you've already decided that you want a T-Mobile G1, as I said at the top of this story, the magic begins on October 22. I like that T-Mobile's existing customers, which ranks include myself (through T-Mobile's goodwill), will be able to pre-order the G1 on-line. Everybody else can queue up at T-Mobile stores and authorized retailers when the phone goes on sale. Don't expect any shortages, real or otherwise; T-Mobile G1 won't be a million-seller in its first weekend. Expect G1 to pick up steam as apps come on-line and early consumers start addressing usability. If Google keeps to its promise to open Android to all, the platform will evolve at a pace that thrills customers and shows T-Mobile and Google that their bets were well placed.