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iPhone vs. Google's G1: The Tale of the Tape


How the two gadgets measure up.

In the challenger's corner, weighing 5.6 ounces, is Google's (GOOG) G1 phone.

The current champ, with about 11 million units sold, is the Apple (AAPL) iPhone, weighing in at 4.7 ounces.

Let the fisticuffs begin.

The new smartphones from Google and Apple have a lot in common - they even share some of the same problems. The real money is in the network connection, not the phone, and both the iPhone and G1 lock users into their respective networks.

Both phones offer still cameras -- the G1 at 3.2 megapixels, and the iPhone at a slightly futzier 2.0 megapixels -- and neither offers video recording or full cut-and-paste editing. (Oh, the humanity!)

Both phones will fit in a pocket stuffed with other junk (like the incomprehensible instructions no one reads, for example). The G1 is 4.6 by 2.16 by 0.62 inches and the iPhone is 4.5 by 2.4 by 0.48 inches. Moral: Small is showy.

The G1 operates on Android, an open-source software package that allows third-party developers to create their own programs. Google is betting this will increase the number of people who interact with the company's advertising network. Apple runs on the proprietary OS X system.

You can buy a G1 for $179, with a 2-year contract. The Apple iPhone costs $199 to $299 and also requires a 2-year contract.

The G1 runs on T-Mobile and has third-generation service in 21 markets. The iPhone is linked to AT&T (T) and has 3G in about 200 markets.

The screens are comparable: The G1 is 3.2 inches and the iPhone is 3.5 inches. Both are touch-sensitive. (This is a polite way of saying your fingerprints are all over it.)

The G1 has a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, a smaller version of the standard PC or laptop keyboard. The iPhone has an onscreen virtual keyboard.

The G1 has a 1 GB memory card and can be expanded to 8 GBs. The iPhone comes with a heftier 8 or 16 GB.

Both devices are powered by a lithium ion battery, but the G1's is removable, and the iPhone's isn't. (This may save you the trouble of losing it.) You can yap for 350 minutes on a 3G network using the G1; only 300 minutes on the iPhone. Standby time for the G1 is 402 hours; 300 hours for the iPhone.

The G1 comes with the Amazon (AMZN) MP3 music store, and the iPhone plugs users into iTunes. (Good taste optional.) The G1 has a proprietary headphone plug, while the iPhone uses a standard 3.5mm stereo jack, should you care about such things.

If you need a digital compass in the wilds of suburbia, the G1 has it, but you're out of luck with the iPhone. Conversely, the G1 doesn't offer Microsoft (MSFT) Exchange, but the iPhone's got it.

However, if you think the new smartphones from Google and Apple are dumb, you may want to take a look at Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry Storm 9530.

Warning: There's an entire generation of users who don't believe a phone has to be tethered to a desk with a wire plugged into the wall. Heh - here's betting the new generation doesn't read newspapers, either.
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