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Guide To Android: The Players, T-Mobile



T-Mobile USA is the United States subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, based in Bonn, Germany. T-Mobile is currently the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States with just under 34 million customers.

T-Mobile uses the same GSM based technology as the 2nd largest carrier in the United States, AT&T Wireless. T-Mobile USA was formed when Deutsche Telekom purchased VoiceStream wireless in 2002.  In 2008 T-Mobile USA completed it’s acquisition of Suncom which was at one time part of AT&T wireless, then not and then it was again.

T-Mobile is significant to Android for many reason see why after the break

T-Mobile partnered with Andy Rubin and his company, Danger, in 2002 to carry the Danger Hiptop device which became known as the T-Mobile Sidekick.  This precursor to the Smartphone was popular among normal everyday people, college students, teenagers, parents and celebrities at a time when Blackberry focused solely on business.

The T-Mobile Sidekick featured a quick release slide out display that slid out and on top of the base which exposed a qwerty keyboard in a quick, switchblade like motion.

This was a critical release for T-Mobile as they had just completed their acquisition of Suncom. It was also the first device to store the users Personal Information Manager (PIM) information in the cloud, about a decade before it’s time.

In 2008 T-Mobile had another first, again partnering with Andy Rubin, this time with Android and the T-Mobile G1.  Although the Nexus One is sometimes referred to as the “Google Phone” the G1 was marketed as the “Google Phone” original and many Americans were led to believe that the G stood for Google.

T-Mobile had a first also when the Motorola Cliq was released with Motorola’s own UI (user interface) called Moto Blur. Although Android enthusiasts often knock Moto Blur, and we prefer HTC Sense and Samsung Touch Wiz over Blur, Motorola’s Sanjay Jha says that users have hit more than 5 million.

T-Mobile took a risk in the fall of 2010 when they went against the ITU and decided to start calling their HSPA+ “4G” There was a significant increase in performance in markets where T-Mobile was using HSPA+ over HSPA/GSM.  Eventually the ITU caved from pressures from American carriers and put HSPA+, WiMax and 4G/LTE under the 4G Umbrella. Almost at the exact same time T-Mobile changed tag lines to “America’s Largest 4G Network”

T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel were the first two carriers to join the Open Handset Alliance, in fact they were partners in the Open Handset Alliance when it was formed.

T-Mobile will soon reunite Father (Andy Rubin) and Son (Sidekick) with the release of the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G with Android.

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