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The G1: Going, going, gone?

It seems T-Mobile's G1 sign-up page may have had a few snafus this past weekend, resulting in a few tech blogs to start spouting that Google's HTC handset, built on the Android OS, is sold out or not available.

But today I registered at T-Mobile's site as an interested consumer for the latest handset and got a note that I'll be receiving email updates on product availability.

I called and emailed both T-Mobile and HTC to find out how consumer response has been since the official launch last week.

I just wanted to know how many G1s had been 'sold,' how many email inquiries they'd received, how many devices they have in production.

So far no answer or response from anyone on any of those questions.

Some reports claim that 60,000 have been sold, but the reports like many flippant tech 'news' posts these days offer no attribution to where that figure comes from.

It would be interesting to know what HTC and Google expected on initial launch.

Obviously the handsets are made -- people on the dais at the launch event had them in hand, and some indicated they had been playing with them for weeks. So they're obviously 'somewhere.'

That's why I'm a bit stumped that device access to the media seems limited.

I would think any vendor pushing out a new technology would give everyone in the press a chance to see and play with a new product for several reasons -- they're likely to get some coverage and the more informed the press is the more informed the public will be.

I've never had an issue getting new handsets to play with from Research in Motion -- they're always happy to let me play with new BlackBerries. The same for Palm and its Centros. Even Apple's been great about getting a iPhone 3G into my hands.

But today I got this response from a PR firm representing HTC:

"I just added you to our T-Mobile G1 request list but we do not currently have review units. When we do get them we will have a very small quantity of devices and therefore cannot guarantee a devices for everyone."

I'm not sure I understand what reasoning could be behind this review strategy, but I hope HTC, Google and the Open Handset Alliance, which fostered Android's existence, comes around to realizing how important it is to give the press as much access as possible to new technologies.

I'll keep knocking on the door as I never take no as an answer the first time ;)

And, if by chance, anyone out there has a G1 and wants to talk about it, write me here or at jmottl@jupitermedia.com and if you happen to be in the NY or Long Island area I'll buy you lunch if you let me play with it for an hour!

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