iPhone vs. Android: It's on

Today marks the debut of what may at last prove to be a worthy competitor to Apple's iPhone in the super-slick-and-cool smartphone space: High Tech Computer Corporation's Dream, marketed by T-Mobile as the G1. If that sounds like a list of off-brands and also-rans, keep in mind that this phone represents the first real-life implementation of the Google Android platform. As befits the iPhone's place at the top of the smartphone heap, much of the press coverage has been of the "what does this mean for Apple?" variety, with Android being considered as a way to fill still lingering gaps in the iPhone's functionality, and its application marketplace being urged to not follow Apple's control-freaky ways. It will be interesting to see how -- or if -- the competition pans out once phones are really in consumers' hands.

In related news, today I finally broke down and bought iPhones for me and my wife. (They're awesome, by the way.) We had been longtime T-Mobile subscribers, and last week I called to make sure that I was no longer under contract with them; being a compulsively honest soul, when asked why I needed said information, I admitted that I was planning an iPhone purchase. Immediately, the poor CSR launched into a sales pitch (no doubt on the orders of higher-ups) for what she called "our version of the iPhone" -- only it wasn't the G1 she was pushing, but the year-old and rather lame T-Mobile Wing. I wonder how many people fall for this pitch, and what sort of bitter regret ensues.

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