Unlocked G1: Not (Yet) Worth the Effort

A mere week after its release, the T-Mobile G1 phone has been unlocked. The dutiful folks at the Android Community posted pictures and a YouTube video of a G1 phone functioning with an AT&T SIM card. The site also claims -- but does not illustrate or explain how -- that the code works with any network SIM card.

But if you're thinking about opening up your open-source G1, there are a few things you should know. One: the Android Community is charging $22.99 for the unlock code. Two: your Google account will no longer work on the G1. Without a functioning Google account, Gmail ceases to operate and the Android App Store becomes inaccessible.

So in the long run, is it worth $22.99 to render a Google phone Google-free? Remember: after 90 days of service, T-Mobile customers can request a SIM unlock code themselves. Or you can wait for a more sophisticated unlock code that will not restrict the G1's functionality. Also, a slew of manufacturers, including Motorola, are preparing their own Google-powered phones that may be compatible with your mobile service carrier. Right now, it doesn't seem worth your money.

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