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  5. Special report: T-Mobile refutes rumours of G1 price cut, remains optimistic over handset’s prospects

Special report: T-Mobile refutes rumours of G1 price cut, remains optimistic over handset’s prospects

Reports that T-Mobile is about to cut the price of its G1 Android-powered handset are unfounded, according to the network’s head of internet and entertainment.

In recent weeks speculation has been mounting that T-Mobile is set to reduce the price of its flagship handset. If rumours were to be believed the move would be intended to make the phone more appealing in the UK smartphone market, which is currently dominated by the Apple iPhone. The price drop would also deflect attention away from the impending launch of the second Android powered phone to hit the UK, the HTC Magic on Vodafone.

Mobile phone blogs and news reports have added to the speculation by suggesting that a price cut is required because the phone is not selling as well as T-Mobile had hoped.

However, in an exclusive interview with Top 10 Mobile Phones, Richard Warmsley of T-Mobile refuted the rumours, claiming that the network does not adjust price points in response to the actions of other networks. Mr Warmsley said that in fact the handset is enjoying strong demand, with T-Mobile estimating that its weekly sales are currently at 70 per cent of the units being sold by the iPhone.

He commented: “The G1 is performing very well for us that the moment. It’s interesting when people start speculating about stock clearances, but there’s no urgency for us to reduce the price at the moment. The kind of customer who buys that kind of device is not the most price sensitive customer, they’re looking for a more rounded mobile phone experience.”

In fact, Mr Warmsley claimed that the arrival of a second so-called Google phone is a positive development for T-Mobile in the respect that it will help the Android platform to grow.

He explained: “We’ve always welcomed there being more Android devices in the market. The whole point about Android is that because there will be lots of handsets, that means that the Android market will have more applications and more interesting ones than anyone else. And that will be precisely because it will be more widespread.”

The growth of the Android market will be further ensured by the openness of the system as a trading environment and the speed with which applications can be developed, he claims.

“What’s exciting is that because Android phones can be low cost and because it’s an open platform that any manufacturer can supply, there will be Android phones all over the world. So there’s going to be developers everywhere. The internet shows that when you’ve got lots of freedom and no-one controlling it you get lots of innovation. That ought to mean a host of envelope-pushing apps in months to come.”

Mr Warmsley’s projections come a matter of days after Samsung unveiled its entry into the market for Android phones. The as yet unnamed phone stands out for its impressively large display and incorporation of a powerful 528 MHz processor.

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