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Smartphone News: A Million-Plus iPhone 3G S Sales, One New Android Phone

Apparently, this iPhone thing isn't getting old: Apple announced this morning that it had sold more than one million units of its new iPhone 3G S through Sunday.

The lines to buy an iPhone may not have been as long as in the previous two iPhone launches -- the Apple Store nearest my home had a mere 100 or so people in line at 9 a.m. on Friday. But the demand was still high enough to yield yet another round of stories of iPhone buyers who couldn't get their new $199-and-up gadgets activated on AT&T Wireless's network.

(This morning's Apple press release is also notable for including a quote from chief executive Steve Jobs that is not followed by "he said while recovering from a recent, successful liver transplant." The Wall Street Journal broke one of this year's odder business stories over the weekend, reporting that Jobs had a liver transplant -- for what exact reasons remain unclear -- about two months ago.)

Meanwhile.... also today, T-Mobile announced its second phone to run Google's Android operating system, the T-Mobile myTouch. This model -- it will be "available for pre-order," an e-mailed press release says, starting July 8 for $199.99 -- runs the 1.5 version of Android, which allows it to dispense with the swing-out physical keyboard of the older T-Mobile G1 in favor of an onscreen keyboard.

Having had the chance to paw over a myTouch for a few minutes last week, I can report that this new model looks and feels considerably sleeker than than the G1. It will also include a T-Mobile-specific Sherpa program that's supposed to customize its searches of nearby establishments to match your own preferences.

But there's already one thing I don't like about this new Android model: its name. Can we please dispense with these Fisher-Price "mySomething" names already? Maybe I'm just grumpy after a decade or so of Microsoft telling me that the files stored in that folder on the desktop are "My Documents" -- really, who else would they belong to? -- but that entire naming convention needs to go.

(Besides, do you really want a moniker that reminds people of this year's biggest flameout in social networking?)

If you were hoping to see the second Android phone in the U.S. market come from another carrier, you'll have to wait a little longer. Both Sprint and Verizon Wireless have said that they plan to sell Android phones, but not until later this year.

I hope to try out T-Mobile's new phone -- see, I just can't bring myself to write its name -- soon, and I am trying out the iPhone 3G S now. That review should run this week; if you're questions about this model or suggestions about aspects of it that I should investigate, leave a note in the comments. And if you can think of a better name for T-Mobile's latest Android device, please suggest that too.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 22, 2009; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets  
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I can't stand to use the onscreen keyboard on the G1. As an onscreen keyboard I guess it's not bad, it's just that the physical keyboard is so much easier to type with. Without a physical keyboard the price for the Magic should be lower.

As for the name, I think Android phones in general need a branding strategy to make them more recognizable as a group, similar to how most Apple products have the "i" in front of their names. The unofficial term "gphone" is out there and could be built off of, with each Android handset getting a G in front of its name. The myTouch could be the GTouch.

Posted by: divestoclimb | June 22, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for "My Little Cellphone".

Posted by: Ghak | June 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the word "Android" itself should have been retained as the name for the phone (or phone series). It might have resonated better with the consumer base, especially with the cool graphics of how Google writes it out. (The OS could be named something more obscure.) That said, Google does not manufacture the phone, so the OEM's have say in what to call the phone. But I suppose Google could have licensed out the name Android? Anyway, eventually even Apple will have to come up with a new naming convention (unless we really want the iPhone XVIII, analogous to the Rocky series).

Posted by: VoxClamantis95 | June 23, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

How about Grow-With-Me phone or I-Can-Text phone?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | June 23, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for the phone endorsed by Elmo.

Posted by: jimward21 | June 23, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Rob: when you post your review, please include info re reliability of HTC handsets. HTC manufactured the G1 and now this new one. I loved my first HTC Dash (T-Mo WinMobile) so much that when the sound went out, I paid full price for another. Six months later the camera and video went out on the new one. Grmmmmmmmph.

Posted by: PortTownsend | June 23, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Since the phone belongs to the person touching it, how about:


Posted by: rbyrone | June 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Can T-Mobile's new phone make calls over Wi-Fi (UMA)? Some T-Mobile phones can do this automatically, switching from cell to Wi-Fi whenever a connection is available to save cell minutes.

Posted by: ereis | June 23, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

So...I guess the fact that the iphone is called "I"phone did'nt occurr to you. What's the difference between that and the "My"touch? I suppose that one slid right by you. Two paragraphs spent on the name associated with the particular smart phone you are speaking of??? Great critique!

Posted by: siewrattan | June 25, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I assume some such progression: iPhone - iPod touch - myTouch... phone. . . ok, never mind.

It's myPhone with a dumbName ...

I second the query on Wi-Fi VoIP calls as this is a feature would make me buy it.

Posted by: grat | June 25, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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