T-Mobile G1 launch: the view from the queue

Despite having to drag ourselves out of bed at 4.55AM in order to get down to the T-Mobile flagship store on Oxford Street in London, TechRadar managed to get a few words with the cold queuers and find out what brought them down to the City before work.

Richard Lewis Jones, the first man down there at 5.30AM, exhibited an inexplicable apathy to the handset, admitting he may not even buy the handset, and saying he mostly wanted to just "check it out".


It seemed the queue make-up was very different to the one outside the O2 shop for the release of the iPhone 3G... not least because the queue only comprised of around 25 people compared to the hundreds that flocked to get their hands on Apple's latest offering.

Luseni Dassama was the second person to join the proceedings, starting his standing experience at 5.45AM.

"I've not played with the handset yet," he admitted. "I just wanted to see the first phone to have Android, check out the handset in the flesh and see if it performs as well as I've heard.

"Though to be honest, I'm hoping for a freebie [for being the first down]!

"I thought there would be more of a procession outside the shop though... it's not really what I thought."

However, Luseni was still keen to compare the handset to the iPhone and find out if it was as sexy, as well as finding out whether the battery life could last as long as he hoped.

However, he was to leave disappointed as he was told he would have to pay £60 to upgrade his handset early, so he decided to wait a little longer.

At least he got a free coffee.

Chance to practise

Some people didn't see the handset worth getting out of bed early for, with the likes of Phil Gainley joining the queue minutes before the opening.

"There are lots of programmers and techies here for the handset," he said. "I want to make a couple of applications for the handset, and getting it now will give me the chance to practise with it before Google starts charging for apps later next year.

"The new platform is going to be more flexible [than the like of BlackBerry and Apple]."

He admitted he struggled to choose between this handset and the iPhone, but in the end chose the G1 due to its development potential, as many other programmers would be getting their hands on the phone and soon there would be a number of applications and programs floating around on the internet.

Overall, the launch was much as expected. Getting people through the doors was a little slower than some hoped, as processing transactions took around 30 mins in most cases.

But when the rain came down, the T-Mobile crew were out in force with umbrellas, water and coffee... though 'thankfully' there weren't that many people out there, as the company had only alerted those that had pre-registered that they could come down and buy the handset for themselves first thing.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.