updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon October 27, 2008
G1 sold in China for $550
The T-Mobile G1, released in the US just last week is reportedly already being illegally brought into and sold in China for RMB 3,999 (about $550), a marked increase from the $180 it is selling for through T-Mobile in the US with a two-year contract. The handsets are making their way over from the US, and have been doing so since October 26, and are being sold in Beijing's Zhongguancun, or what is known as China's Silicon Valley. The report originally came from China's DoNews daily, which added that the handsets can be unlocked for another RMB 500 ($73), allowing buyers to use them on a network other than T-Mobile's.
According to some of the unauthorized resellers, costs are expected to keep G1 prices high in the short term despite a relatively large, though undisclosed supply of the handsets. The G1, while SIM-locked to work on the T-Mobile network, can be legally unlocked after 90 days of service and the Android-based smartphone is easier to unlock than Apple's iPhone.
The handset will launch in the UK in early November, while Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands expecting to get the first phone with the Google-developed OS in the first quarter of 2009.