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Google releases unlocked devices for Android developers, quickly hacked by modders

December 9, 2008 | by Wyatt Foard

Android, Android Hacks, Android Phones, Carriers, Google, HTC, T-Mobile

Google releases unlocked devices for Android developers, quickly hacked by modders

Now, in addition to obtaining T-Mobile branded and locked G1 phones to develop Android applications, developers have the option of purchasing an unlocked phone directly from Google. The Android Dev Phone 1 is available for $399 (USD) to developers registered through the Android Market. The price includes free shipping in the US and the phone is available in 18 international markets including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. New markets will be added in the future. Anticipating high demand, developers are limited to purchasing a single device for now.

The SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked phones will give developers full root access and ships with a system image compatible with Android 1.0.  Of course, these phones are intended for development only and can be loaded with software that is not compatible with carrier’s systems. Google offers no support and says users operate at their own risk. Warnings notwithstanding, it did not take long for hackers to post instructions on how to mod a standard T-Mobile G1 to convert it to a Dev Phone 1. The hack posting at modmyGphone indicates it won’t work for phones that have been updated to RC30, but as Androinica has previously reported it is possible to keep a phone jailbroken and update to RC30.