The G1 vs. the iPhone

How the two 3G smartphones stack up against each other

  • Operating systems The good news for Microsoft haters is that neither of these phones runs on Windows Mobile! After that, however, it comes down to a personal preference. The iPhone's Mac OS X has set the bar for mobile operating platforms in terms of familiarity and ease of use, but Google is hoping that Android will appeal to users who don't want to have a "walled garden" approach to their mobile Internet. Software and application developers could find a lot to like with Android, which has open source code and which will support all third-party applications that developers create.
  • The keypads This is a simple one: the iPhone uses an electronic keypad built into the touchscreen while the G1 has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
  • 3G network coverage While both AT&T and T-Mobile have GSM 3G data networks, AT&T has a definite edge in terms of range of coverage. In May, AT&T announced that it had finished deploying its 3G HSPA network that would deliver downlink speeds of 1.7Mbps to 350 U.S. markets by the end of the year. T-Mobile, in contrast, only started rolling out its 3G UMTS coverage this spring, and the carrier estimates that it will have 3G service available in between 20-30 markets by the end of the year. Both devices also support Wi-Fi connections.
  • Enterprise features One of the things that has made the iPhone so appealing to enterprise users in recent months has been that it now has access to Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, a licensed data synchronization protocol whose built-in support will give IT departments the ability to set password policies, set up VPN settings and perform remote data wipes on iPhones that have been lost or stolen. Apple also said that the iPhone would soon have access to Cisco IPsec VPN, which the company says will "ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption available for transmission of sensitive corporate data." The G1, on the other hand, won't have any of these crucial enterprise applications built into it, although Google is quick to point out its open-source platform will obviously allow developers to create any enterprise applications they want.
  • iPhone or G1? You decide! Which smartphone do you find more appealing? Does the G1's open-source platform grab you? Or do you plan on sticking with your iPhone? Let us know in the comments!
  • Cost Apple and AT&T turned a lot of heads after they announced they were going to slash the price of the iPhone 3G down to US$199. T-Mobile and Google are doing them one better by selling the G1 for a mere US$179.
  • Call quality Although no one has yet seen how well T-Mobile's cellular network will perform under the demands of the G1 phone, we can examine both T-Mobile's and AT&T's past reputations for call quality. Although AT&T has typically ranked ahead of T-Mobile in JD Power's annual wireless service surveys, the latest survey shows the two carriers are now even in terms of call quality and in service reliability. Smartphone users who look for call quality first and foremost, however, might consider passing over both the iPhone and the G1 for one of Verizon's smartphone offerings, since Verizon has for years come out on top of JD Power's call quality surveys.
  • Google, T-Mobile and friends vs. Apple While the wireless market has been inundated with iPhone-like smartphones over the past year, T-Mobile's latest smartphone has generated a significant amount of buzz because it will be the first to use Google's open-source Android mobile platform as its operating system. As Google has conceived it, Android is supposed to help break down the so-called "walled garden" on the mobile Web by letting developers create open-source third-party applications, and by giving users the option of switching networks while keeping their devices. In this slideshow, we'll evaluate both the iPhone and the new G1 in terms of cost, network quality, enterprise features and more.
  • Applications With the opening of its AppStore this summer, Apple for the first time opened up its iPhone to third-party applications. But while this new feature certainly gave users a wide selection of applications to choose from for their phones, Apple still retains control over which applications it will allow to be sold on its store. Google, meanwhile, will launch its own Android App Market on Oct. 22 and also have its share of fun applications that can be downloaded onto the G1 phone. While it's unclear what, if any, vetting mechanism Google is using for its Android store, third-party developers can always make their own Android applications and sell them on their own.
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