Google is apparently committed to making their Android OS and the Android Market just as competitive as the iPhone and the App Store. Apple might have the market share now, what with their more than 2 million iPhone application downloads everyday, but Google is looking to hack away at Apple’s position. To help cultivate a developer community around the Android OS, Google has just announced the Android Dev Phone 1 for developer use.
As the name might suggest, the Android Dev Phone 1 is a SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1. The Android Dev Phone 1 with a system image that’s compatible with Android 1.0 and features a developer-oriented bootloader that allows a developer to use the handset with custom Android builds. And, with the ability to use any SIM card from any GSM provider around the world, the new Android Dev Phone 1 should give international developers a chance to put their skills to the test in the Android Market.
Anyone interested in the Android Dev Phone 1 will have to register as an Android developer through the Android Market ($25 registration fee applies). Once registered, Android developers will be given the option to buy the unlocked G1 developer-variant through their Android developer portal.
Google is pricing the Android Dev Phone 1 at $399 (including free shipping in the US), and will be available for purchase in 18 international markets, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary.
With a developer-friendly G1 on the loose, the already-attractive Android platform will likely be giving Apple and the App Store a run for their money.