T-Mobile USA sells a million G1s

T-Mobile USA has sold more than 1 million of its Android-based G1 devices during the past six months, news that essentially sets the benchmark for Palm's Pre.

The figure was buried in Deutsche Telekom's earnings report and first reported by TelephonyOnline. According to the German carrier's report, the G1 accounts for two-thirds of all of T-Mobile USA's 3G handset sales so far. The carrier switched on its 3G network last year and expects to cover 205 million potential customers with 3G by the end of this year.

Initial sales of the G1 pale in comparison to Apple's iPhone. Apple sold around 3.7 million iPhones during the two full quarters after the device's launch in the summer of 2007.

Now, certainly, all eyes will be on Palm's forthcoming Pre device, which will parachute into a situation very similar to what the G1 faced during its introduction in October. Like the HTC-built G1, the Pre brings a new operating system to the market and features a touchscreen user interface alongside a physical keyboard. It also will be tied to a single carrier through an exclusivity contract between Sprint Nextel and Palm.

Sprint undoubtedly has high hopes for the Pre; the carrier has lost around a million customers per quarter in each of the past several quarters.

However, even if the Pre manages to match the sales benchmark posted by the G1, Sprint's troubles may continue. Despite the presence of the G1 on T-Mobile USA shelves, the carrier reported less than half the number of net customer additions in its most recent quarter--415,000 in the first quarter--as compared with the year-ago quarter.

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