First Android phone to match iPhone 3G at $199

— 4:17 PM on September 18, 2008

You might have heard the rumors by now: T-Mobile may unveil the first handset based on Google's Android mobile platform next week. That's all well and good, but where are the specifics? How much will the device cost? When will scruffy Linux enthusiasts be able to show up at T-Mobile stores and exchange an old sock filled with coins for one?

According to a post on Fortune's Techland blog, the Wall Street Journal has unearthed a handful of fresh, juicy details about the forthcoming device. T-Mobile will reportedly strike head-on at Apple's iPhone 3G by pricing the Android phone at $199—exactly what AT&T charges for the 8GB iPhone 3G right now, assuming you're willing to sign up for a two-year contract. As for the physical handset, the report says it will come with a touch screen (shocking, we know) and be manufactured by Taiwan's HTC.

The launch event is expected to take place on September 23 in Manhattan, but the phone won't actually become available until "later this fall," Fortune says. No word yet on things like storage capacity and connectivity options, but T-Mobile will probably have to pack in features generously if it wants take business away from Apple.

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