Google's G1 Competes With iPhone and Mobile iTunes

Mobile version of Amazon's MP3 store takes dead aim at Apple's version.

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The first Google phone includes a hardware keyboard.
The first Google phone includes a hardware keyboard.

Apple is getting competition to more than just the iPhone in the new Google phone announced by T-Mobile. Along with the announcement came word of a new mobile version of Amazon's MP3 music store, offering a strong alternative to the iTunes store on the iPhone.

The T-Mobile G1 also features a touch-screen, slick software, and a software store that make it appear a strong competitor to other smart phones. It arrives at a competitive price of $180 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

Taking dead aim at the iPhone is T-Mobile's deal with Amazon. I'm already a fan of the Amazon store, where all tracks come without copy protection. The store is easy to use, a bit cheaper than Apple's, and now available for mobile phones—at least one, initially.

G1 owners will be able to browse Amazon's 6 million tracks across the T-Mobile network. The iTunes store is offline for iPhone users not on a Wi-Fi network. G1 users must be on a Wi-Fi network to download the music itself.

The G1 has other unique capabilities, such as spinning the phone to spin around street-level photos available on Google Maps. And its tight integration with other Google applications looks promising. All of those are applications that could appear soon on other phones, including through the software store that Apple offers for the iPhone. Similarly, we can expect the Amazon store to appear on other phones.

But don't expect it to appear at Apple's App Store.