As Switched On exemplified in the frenzy of mobile Ts and primary Gs last week, much of the attention focused on the involvement of Google and comparisons to the iPhone. Searching Google for "'T-Mobile G1' Apple" yields over 6.7 million results on Google. Searching for "'T-Mobile G1' HTC" yields only 3.4 million.
Given that the phone is being branded "T-Mobile G1 with Google," the temptation is to say that HTC, which has long vowed to step into the white light from behind the white label, has failed to capitalize on one of the best branding opportunities in handset history. However, there would have been limits as to how much spotlight it could have stolen in the wake of media fascination with Google and one can have only so many brands listed in the name of a phone. Wireless carriers are among the biggest television advertisers, and Google is the biggest advertising powerhouse online. Together they will fund the G1 marketing push. The stakes were just too high for HTC to significantly advance its branding status with T-Mobile, which has used its carrier brand for such HTC handsets as the Dash, Wing and Shadow.
But there are more paradoxes in HTC's first Android handset.