By Sinead Carew and Yinka Adegoke

September 24, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - T-Mobile has rolled out Google's answer to the iPhone as the Web search giant makes its biggest stab yet at leaping from consumers' computers into their pockets with a device cheaper than rival Apple offers.

The widely-anticipated G1 phone, introduced on Tuesday made by HTC Corp, has a touch-sensitive screen, a computer-like keyboard, Wi-Fi connections and uses Google's new Android operating system.

Available in three colors -- black, white and brown -- it includes familiar Google services, such as Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. Like the iPhone and other "smartphones" the device is meant to broaden the appeal of Web surfing on the go.

"If we see more mobile Web usage we'll be happy," Google co-founder Sergey Brin told Reuters after arriving at the launch on roller-blades.

His company, a powerhouse in Web advertising, would benefit if Android led more cell users to spend time on the Web, no matter which phone they are using.

Google is well ahead of rivals Yahoo Inc and Microsoft Corp in Web search on computers, but it wants to use Android to ensure this dominance carries over to the phone when mobile Web surfing becomes more popular.

But while no clear mobile Web winner has emerged so far, Google faces stiff competition from longer established phone players such as Nokia, Research In Motion Ltd's BlackBerry and Microsoft, as well as Apple.

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photo: The new G1 phone running Google's Android software is displayed in New York September 23, 2008. T-Mobile USA, a Deutsche Telekom AG unit, will sell the first phone powered by Google Inc's Android operating system under the brand name T-Mobile G1, said its partner Inc on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Jacob Silberberg)