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Unlocked Custom G1 Goes On Sale To Developers

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There's a certain irony that an OS whose biggest claim to fame is its open source approach should debut in a handset strictly locked to individual country telcos - but that's all about to change...

Google used the weekend to announce that it will be offering all Android developers the chance to buy a network unlocked G1 with custom design and bootloader which also doesn't enforce signed system images. The cost? Just $399 (£270 - thanks exchange rates) and it will be available in no less than 18 countries (US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland and Hungary) with more to follow at a later date.

Of course Google does issue a warning: "Note that Android Dev Phone 1 devices are not intended for non-developer end users. Since the devices can be configured with system software not provided by or supported by Google or any other company, end users operate these devices at their own risk."

Now the theory in all this is sound: Google wants Android developers who may live in areas where T-Mobile has little or no signal to still be able to work easily with the OS - but with membership to become an Android developer costing a measly one off $25 registration fee it could find the offer far more popular with everyday punters than it expects...

The G1 developer edition is available now via the Android Market website. On your marks. Get Set. GO!

In related news developers have posted a video of Android running on a Nokia N810 tablet. Functionality remains limited at this stage, but don't expect it to remain that way for long. Fingers crossed Touch HD owners...

Update: Many thanks to Fatila who bravely coughed up the $25 developer fee to check for the handset's UK availability. Bad news is while the phone is available to the UK market Google currently has shipping charges from the US listed at an "eye watering" $171.53! This surely can't stay that way for long...

Links:
G1 Developer Edition
Android Market

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