T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom (DT) confirmed that it’s sold 1 million Google (GOOG) Android-powered G1 smartphones since it launched last fall.
That’s not bad — 1 million of anything is a lot — and T-Mobile has the sales hurdles of a relatively small customer base and nascent 3G network.
But it’s not great, either. If Google is ever going to get the top two U.S. carriers — AT&T and Verizon — to sell Android phones, its handset partners are going to have to make some more desirable gadgets. And in the meantime, Google has to keep pushing development on its operating system and developer platform, or it’s going to have a tough time catching up to Apple (AAPL).
We’ll have a better idea of Android’s long-term viability next year. Motorola (MOT), which still sells millions of phones a year, is making a big bet on Android, and other big handset makers are experimenting. If one or more are successful, Android has a chance.