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T-Mobile G1 and Android Celebrate 5th Year Anniversary Today

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 12.42.11 PM

Five years ago today, Google and T-Mobile took the stage at a press event in NYC to unveil the T-Mobile G1 (made by HTC) as the first device to run Android. As you all know now, Android is the number 1 mobile operating system in the game across the globe, and it’s not really even close at this point. But to think in 2008 that the original G1 would be the starting point to what we have now, is almost unimaginable. Certainly, there were those who had the vision to see its eventual power, but boy have we come a long way. 

In a post to his G+ account, T-Mobile Sr. product manager Des Smith talks about the G1 launch, the weeks leading up to its unveiling, testing prototypes the night before, and eventually participating in the press event that included the recently-departed Andy Rubin on stage, along with a surprise appearance by Sergey Brin and Larry Page on rollerblades. Oh, and 3G, people! 3G!

We weren’t around for the G1 unveiling, as we got our start during the original DROID launch a year later in 2009. That said, I’ve spent the last hour or so watching old G1 reviews to gain some perspective and also to laugh a little.

Any G1 memories or thoughts to share?


Via:  +Des Smith

  • That Guy

    I remember running the terminal commands on the homescreen to root my G1, installing the “dangerous bootloader” that would kill your phone if you didn’t have the right radio flashed, and installing Jesusfreke, then later on CM. Good times.

  • Gr8Ray

    Funny coincidence yesterday. My daughter crawled into my office for the first time (and only because I let her) and went straight to the bookshelf that I happen to keep all my old phones on. She immediately grabbed the G1. Atta girl!

  • Jimmyjammer

    The worst phone I’ve ever owned.

  • maxj77

    roomate’s mother makes $87 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 7
    months but last month her pay was $21739 just working on the laptop for a few
    hours. Read more here…www.Works77.cℴℳ

  • DJ

    I traded a laptop for this phone when it came out. Totally worth it.

  • Jeremy

    528 MHz ARM 11 — That’s some slow jazz

  • dannydarko

    This phone was the start of everything that is going today in the industry. It was originally started by the iPhone but when they introduced the G1 it started a new age in mobile as well as creating a community of incredible people.I will forever be grateful for the G1, Android and the entire amazing android community. Live It, Love It, AnDroid-Life…….Drooooooiiiidddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Larry Bublitz

    I remember checking one out at a Tmobile shop on launch day and being intrigued, but scared by the lack of apps. Also, it didn’t have BBM. lol. I was a total BB snob back then, and five years later Android is #1 in the world (but it still doesn’t technically have BBM lol)

  • p0k3y

    Wow, no lag at all. So what has Google done in the last 5 years? On the other hand, it had the widgets that ios7 still doesn’t have today. It really puts things in perspective.

  • Roger W Turner

    I also still have my G1 (not used for years of course). After 10 years of Nokia Communicators I switched to Android at the right time.

  • BrothaDave

    I still have my G1, I never rooted or did anything extra to it either. I had just switched to Tmo and I got the HTC Dash (Windows 5.0/6.0 phone) first then got the G1 a few months after it came out. I loved the phone but at the time it lacked the apps and developer support that Android has now.

    That was also back when I had to have a keyboard, I finally let that go once the bigger screens started becoming a standard.

  • Chris

    I can’t even fathom the fact that the device didn’t have a fricking headphone jack at launch!

  • Maciquatl

    Bonnie has the CHOLA eyebrows!

  • CharlesJorgenson

    I loved my G1. Been on Android nonstop since then. Something magical about that flip out screen with the keyboard behind it.

  • Bryan

    What I find interesting is that in 5 years look at how much Android has changed and iOS has just now finally changed up their UI a little bit.

  • hgomes30

    Memories of my custom G1…here’s to 5 years, Android, and never turning back!

  • carluverdrm2004

    A catalog of 35 apps at launch! Whoa! We’ve come a long way, baby.

  • Shamu

    Kitkat should be announced today to celebrate!!!

  • Michael

    I love how many features we use everyday that this device was completely missing. Video, aux out, etc.

  • OneForTheGoodDays


    Watching this makes me anxious.

  • jahsoul

    It’s been that long? lol. I wonder how many people remember when we had Rosie on that joint. lol. “Oh man, look at that Clock Widget! Native twiiter?” *swipes and waits 5 second for screen to change*

  • Daniel Flores

    I loved my G1. My friend came over and showed me his, the next day I was at T-Mobile buying one. Contract ended, and I went to Verizon for the OG Droid. I’ve had a fun ride with android and I’m glad that I’ve been apart of EVERY update. I remember being so excited that Donut was gonna give us onscreen keyboard and video recording.

  • Hoff16

    “3G where that is available” My how far we have come in so short a time. The HTC Droid Eris (I remember waiting for the Eclair update) was my first so only a 4 year anniversary for me, but Android has changed my life for sure. *wipes tear*

  • DMX13

    Seems like Droid-Life and Complex are the only ones acknowledging Android’s 5-year anniversary. They did a 25 Best Android Phones of All Time list. http://www.complex.com/tech/2013/09/the-25-best-android-phones-of-all-time/

    • Steve B

      I appreciate their effort but any best-of list that contains the HTC Thunderbolt is immediately discredited.

  • trixnkix637

    Who remembers waiting for that Cupcake update? lol. A long way indeed. Proud to be a 5yr running Android enthusiast.

  • Cup cake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice cream sandwich, Jelly Bean, and Kit Kat. 5 years and 8+ versions. We came very long way from G1…

    btw did i miss anything? I’m too lazy to google it and find out….

  • jstew182

    I preordered the G1 when it went on sale and still remember sitting in my car and opening it up outside the UPS store (cause I missed the delivery earlier in the day.) I was so amazed with how awesome it was!

    Last night I was reinstalling apps on my phone and scrolled through everything I have ever downloaded and all the way at the bottom was some of the horrible original apps that I had downloaded on the G1. Oh how things have changed…

  • I remember being able to scroll through the entire list of every single app in the Market (I got my G1 in December of 2008). We’ve come a long way.

  • Alan Paone

    I miss the chin

  • hard to believe its only 5 years ago.

  • Andy Stetson

    I still swipe up for all my apps! Bit of nostalgia i can’t get rid of!

  • coolsilver

    Good lord the graphical differences in the OS and Apps as well

  • TuckandRoll84

    I remember I was working at Verizon, when a guy came up to me with one of these and asked how to change a setting. I fumbled around with it and I remember thinking how janky the OS was and that I was never going to leave my Blackberry. I bought an OG DROID about a week after launch, once I was shown the error of my ways.

  • vincent scala

    i do miss the call/end buttons on phones

  • Killer B!

    I was so happy when my iphone got smashed and even happier when this was release.

  • nimbyist

    my stomach’s churning just remembering that dreaded feeling of pressing an icon and having to wait 1-2 minutes for something to happen…

    • Jason Kahn

      Don’t Laugh, but my G-Nex is approaching that level of Lag frakking Verizon keeps sending me Refurbished devices, I’ve heard 4.3 fixes most of the Lag

  • Joseph A. Yager

    When is the gold one coming out?

    • Charlie

      now THAT is some funny stuff!! lol

  • shamatuu

    Best OS out there and still counting.

  • chris420o

    no 1080p screen?

  • Hard to believe we came so far in just 5 years.

  • panicswhenubered

    Brings back memories…. extremely laggy memories.

  • chris420o

    physical buttons?

  • chris420o

    that bezel?

  • Ian

    G1 giveaway to commemorate?

  • Boss As Hell

    I loved this phone. I lived in a small town with a carrier that offered Moto Razrs as the top of the line phone. Had this bad boy unlocked and jealous fools all over the place. Definitely my favorite keyboard/keypad.

  • dsim91

    Still got my G1 figured I’ll keep it to remind me where android got its start

  • MichaelFranz

    who still has one of these? working?

  • Prince Campbell III

    I think my cousin is still using his

  • duke69111

    Since we are celebrating the G1, how about some nexus 5 leaks, (say full specs and release date) 🙂

    • zurginator

      Full specs? G2. Release date probably first week of November.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    WOW 35 Apps available at launch! I miss the old Donut OS!

  • cns2007

    OG Droid may have put Android on the map, but this where it all really began.
    Happy B’day G1!!

  • punkroyale

    I had forgotten about the nipple…now its back!

  • Patrick Crumpler

    I am think I had a BB Storm a the time. Then went with the OG Droid. Couple of friends had this phone. Neat to see how android has progressed. Loving my N4. Big contrast in development over iOS. Just updated the ipad2 to os7 and its better than 6 but still lacking.

    • EdubE24

      I loved my Droid Incredible!!

      • Patrick Crumpler

        There was another HTC phone that came out, the Eris. I had it for a couple of days. Went back and got the Motorola, skipped the Incredible. Did seem like a nice phone, then the Droid X came out , so I skipped the Incredible, ibdid get the thunderbolt though.

        • EdubE24

          I had the Thunderbolt also….ughhhh

        • Jonbo298

          OG Droid and Eris launched at the same time (or maybe just a few days apart) on Verizon. Good god the Eris was horrible compared to the OG Droid and unfortunately my friend thought going cheaper with the Eris would be fine. My how did he learn the hard way.

      • MotoRulz

        I also had the BB Storm and went to the Dinc. Loved that phone like a girlfriend till I went swimming with it in my pocket.

  • Ryan Powell

    Oh! Clock says 10:10. G1 is the next nexus coming out on October 10th!

    • ToddAwesome

      Half of 10 is 5, 10 plus 5 is 15, 15 divided by 5 is 3. HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

      • Ryan Powell

        I approve of this logic. #needmyHL3

  • Droid Ronin

    Rocked this phone for more than 2 years after picking one up in 2008. It was funny that for the first 6 months, the only users that downloaded apps and posted reviews on Android Market were G1 folks. 🙂

  • Tony G.

    I got my start with the original Droid. and I got on the droid life bandwagon soon after. It’s awesome to see how far droid life has come along. you guys will never get rid of me

    • evltwn

      I’m right there with you. I Googled “rooting” and DL was one was of the sites that came up. Remember Kellen’s 1st video on how to root the OG Droid? I watched it like 5 times before I took the plunge.

      • Tony G.

        his videos got me hooked on rooting. nobody else took the time to go step by step for us noobs

        • ReturnOfTheMack

          Same here. Discovered this site when I wanted to start tinkering with my Droid X. Man that was three years ago, three years of DL and counting.

        • evltwn

          I went step by step with that 1st set of rooting videos. I still have them on my computer. As he did it in the video, I did on my phone. I was so afraid of bricking my phone.

    • KleenDroid

      That was all fun. And don’t forget the uproar over the 2.1 update. All the rumors and late nights with no update. Rumors of stupid pre-updates…

      Fun times. Bugless Beauty and Beast baby.

      • Tony G.

        froyo was the update we all couldnt wait to have

  • Still got my G1 that I received ~1 week before they launched! And it still works, running Froyo or Gingerbread!!

  • Ray Gray

    Just think android had widgets 5 years ago…and Apple still doesn’t

    • Droid Ronin

      When this phone ran Cupcake, it had more features than iOS7 does today.

  • sk102704

    I remember seeing someone with the G1 at a BBQ and everybody kept asking him if it was a new iphone. He said it wasn’t and everyone’s follow questions was “is it like an iphone?”. We have come a looooong way baby!

  • Ray Gray

    This was my first android phone oh so long ago I have probably been threw 6 devices since then

    • rabidhunter

      Yeah, throwing devices will break them, which is a good reason to replace them.

  • Greg Williams

    That is one sexy phone!

  • Jérôme Besnard

    Still have my old one!

  • Larry Wei

    wow the OG clock widget had so much detail…I bet in KitKat it’ll just be a circle

    • Sirx

      With three other circles inside of it! What do they all tell? WHO CAHRS MOAR MINAMALZ NAO!!!”

  • mustbepbs

    “The screen is nice a sharp.”

    Go home, Bonnie, you’re drunk.

  • Jesse Blacklock

    I remember there was a scare going on giving google that much information

  • Inquizitor

    I never had a G1, but I remember soon after my original iPhone broke (it was a gift from a friend that I had used as a jailbroken iPod Touch) I was in my school library and met up with a friend who was a few years older. He had a G1, and I asked to take a look at it. It was without a doubt uglier than the iPhone, but it had a certain charm about it. I liked that it had a Gmail app and a keyboard, and it seemed comfortable. After that day, I pretty much forgot all about Android until over the summer months later I saw a Droid Does commercial on TV. I knew I was up for a new phone in a couple months, so I started doing research and immediately fell in love with the Moto Droid. I bought it within a month of its launch and never looked back.

  • dannyWHITE

    I remember launch day that Android only had around 1,000 apps in the Android Market.

    • FknTwizted

      and 400 were for the same thing… Im glad that the market blew up cause i really didn’t want to get a iphone. Still have a small piece of my heart dedicated to the og droid.

  • Tim242

    Ohhh, the footprints in the sand, Those were ugly feet.

  • samosa king

    Can’t wait when I tell my grandchildren about this phone! in 70 years time!

  • @bigdaddybesbris

    Was my first Android device! I’ve had many since, but you’ll always be my favorite! Happy birthday G1, happy (sort of) birthday Android! Congrats, old buddy! 😀

  • Godzilla

    I forgot how ugly that phone was.

    • samosa king

      Godzilla you’re also ugly.

      • Godzilla

        I’m supposed to scare people. A phone isn’t.

        • ToddAwesome

          Boom. Roasted.

          • carluverdrm2004

            And this thread is now complete.

        • samosa king

          Yeah but the phone isn’t a monster isn’t it? anyway no samosa for you!!!

      • Guest, y u no use Disque?

        Why did you delete your samosa comment? Are you that obsessed with looking good that you can’t handle a few downvotes?

        • samosa king

          Because it was a stupid comment. I don’t care of getting dislikes. *sigh

    • Turb0wned

      Shut up Bionic.

    • zurginator

      HTC has definitely gained some class.

    • Steve Ballmer

      I forgot how your avatar looked like. Have you gotten another account where you post from? I doubt you’ll admit it but I find it hard to believe how you, aka Bionic, have gone so much time with few posts. Before, you would post everyday on almost every article. You should just post more often from this account and ignore the people who troll you.

      • Godzilla

        Actually been really busy with work and family.

  • Man.. I remember waiting in line at my T-Mobile to get a G1 on launch day … awesome!

  • Jerry13

    I actually liked the keypad. Still have my black one and still works.

  • ToddAwesome

    Ron saw this coming.

  • jdlogan151

    Congrats Android!