T-Mobile launches first Google phone today

T-Mobile USA will reveal the first phone to use Android, Google's software platform today, at a New York news conference, an Associated Press report said.

But a lot has happened in the world of mobile phone software in the intervening year, and Google looks set for an uphill battle in trying to capture the desires of consumers and wireless carriers, the Associated Press report added.

Research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that T-Mobile could sell 400,000 phones this year, giving Google about 4% of the US market for 'smart' phones, a category dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones with tough competition from Apple's iPhone, Palm's Treos and Centros and various phones running Microsoft's Windows Mobile software, the report said.

The new phone, called the G1 according to T-Mobile's invitation, is expected to be a design from HTC of Taiwan, which has made a name for itself by making smart phones that use Windows Mobile software.

Based on previous Google demos of its software, it's assumed that it will have a touch screen and a slide-out, full-alphabet keyboard.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing unnamed sources, that the phone would sell for €134.5 (US$199) and carry the Google brand. It's likely that the phone will go on sale in a few weeks.

Other details are scant, and it's not clear exactly what the phone will be capable of, but web browsing and email are safe bets.