Four years ago today, the world of smartphones changed. The T-Mobile G1 made it's debut, with little fanfare, a small following, and a huge BlackBerry-shaped shadow over its head. Some of us knew it would be a game-changer, but I don't think anyone expected what we're seeing today. 1.3 million daily activations, over 500 million (that's half a billion) Android phones sold, and consistent growth in market share every quarter.

Google knew. There were few Android-centric websites back then, but the little bit of news we all got from Google about the Android project let us know they had big plans. An open-source platform for manufacturers to build apps and access the web was a lofty goal -- a goal we're glad the folks in Mountain View had.

The G1 was the phone that got me hooked. It wasn't quite good enough to replace my BlackBerry, but the nerdy side of me was excited and looked forward to the day when the Android platform was robust enough to be my daily driver. Now that those days are here, I'm happy. 

I still have one of my original G1 phones, and every now and then I throw the SIM card in it and use it. It's no barn-burner, and pales when compared to today's monster-spec'd phones, but it's one I'll be keeping forever.

Join me while I say Happy Birthday to the little G1, and check out a gallery after the break.


Reader comments

Happy birthday to the T-Mobile G1


I got this phone the day it came out.... 4 years ago. O how times of changed. suprisingly... I still miss it. Happy birthday G1!

It was my first android. I got around the same time the G2 came out. I bought it from a coworker. I liked it so much that I used my upgrade to get the G2. I hope there are many more keyboard phones touch screens around.

I learned so much beginning with the g1..It opened me up and ever since I've been tru to my android phones...I WILL ALWAYS HAVE AN ANDROID DEVICE

I was one of early adopters of Android smartphones in my country. Sadly I didn't own G1. It was nasty pleasure of having first( or one of first) Samsung androids, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i7500_galaxy-2791.php .. I remember I was so pissed because I couldn't get G1.. Despite pretty horrid job samsung did with it I still fell in love with Android, love affair that last's till this day :D

I was once an apple fanboy, I know I know, but this was the phone that brought me back to sanity. After playing around with my friends G1, I was hooked, when I finally got an upgrade I got me a droid X when it first launch, 2 years later I've gone through a galaxy nexus, galaxy tab 10.1, nexus 7, currently using a galaxy s3 and I'm eagerly awaiting the galaxy note 2. I've even dumped my macbook 2 years ago along with all my other crapple devices and can't wait to get my ideapad yoga this weekend :D

I didn't get onboard with Android till the Motorola Droid because my carrier is Verizon but I.remember wanting this phone. A month or so ago I picked one of these on ebay just for the neck of it. Nice phone.:-)

I was reading this and surfing around androidcentral.com and went to the bottom of the page to see what old post I missed. Clicked on last and it took me page 1675 where the first post is 2008 was about the G1.

I remember the days that my buddies told me join the Android Open Source Project...I said thanks but no thanks and did my internship elsewhere, but roughly 9 months later they came back with their first T-Mobile G1. After playing with that I knew it would be my next phone, and got it within a week of release. I knew it was going to be great, and a real competitor to the iPhone monstrosity from Apple.

Still love that little guy. Even though I went through 3 of them in my 2 year contract....

Heh.........i got the non-branded version of the T-Mobile G1 (called the HTC Dream) back in 2009..............

It started my love for all things Android and HTC :)

I had such a love/hate relationship with my G1. I purchased on day one. I loved the phone. I loved the potential. I hated the lack of apps. I hated the lack of polish. I hated the constant force closes. I am grateful for the choice and the way that Android has evolved over the last four years.

Wow, congratulations!
(I'm so saving this whole page with Screen Cut in Dolphin)
Keep it up, Android.
All rooted:
Sprint HTC EVO 4G, my first affair.
Tmobile Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 (my 3 years old son's tablet)
Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. (Actual)
Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III. (Wife's company lol)
Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note II. (Will be mine soon)

Still the best formfactor ever made. The only way it could be improved would be dedicated media buttons. C'mon ATT, shutter button, trackball, sliding qwerty keyboard. Get with the program

I loved my G1, and still have it. I've had 4 Android phones since. Do you guys remember looking forward to cupcake??? That was a fun time!! Android sure has come a long way!!

Happy Birthday G1; you and your magnificent chin! :) I loved that phone and I remember it's first update when it got the on-screen keyboard. I remember having iPhone envy and the G1 filled that hole in so many ways. I carried around my iPod touch and my G1 for quite a while too. It wasn't until I got the MyTouch 4G and discovered PowerAMP that I could finally ditch my iPod and use it for music.

The G1 will always have a special place in my techy heart. It was a great phone for it's time. My buddy got one and used his for about 3 years. I actually gave my old G1 to his wife as her crappy phone was on it's last legs and they didn't have an upgrade due yet. She rocked that phone for another year before finally getting a new Android. G1; you created and Android fan in me, and I helped foster two more :)

Thank you G1, stood in line an hr b4 the t-mo store opened, completely unnecessary, but worth its "wait" in gold. Amazing how far we've come!