T-Mobile sales of G1 hit 1 million in first two quarters

But sales of the Android-based smartphone are far behind the iPhone

T-Mobile USA sold 1 million G1 smartphones in the first six months since it went on the market, about one-third the number of Apple Inc. iPhones that sold in its first two quarters.

The G1, based on the Android platform, went on sale in October 2008. The sales figure was included in a first-quarter financial report from T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom released last week.

AT&T Inc. and Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones in the first two quarters after the device first went on sale on June 29, 2007, according to several reports. Apple also indicated it sold its first million iPhones in 74 days. For the most recent quarter, Apple reported iPhone sales of 3.79 million.

Bloggers have attempted to account for the disparity between the G1 and iPhone sales, with one noting that T-Mobile is smaller than AT&T and T-Mobile has a 3G network still in its early development. T-Mobile is expected to double the reach of its 3G network in 2009, Deutsche Telekom reported.

Sean Ryan, an analyst at research firm IDC, said T-Mobile's smaller size has made a difference. "I don't think anyone expected the G1 debut to match that of the iPhone," Ryan said, "Still, 1 million units for the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, compared with Apple's 3.7 million for the largest carrier, is respectable. Also, this does set a bar for the Palm Pre debut on Sprint."

In comparison, Nokia and Research in Motion Ltd. ship many more phones by working with multiple carriers, Ryan said. Nokia shipped 13.7 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter, while RIM shipped 7.9 million BlackBerry devices worldwide in the first quarter, he said.

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