If you've been dying to try out the Android-based G1 but weren't thrilled about the prospect of being locked into a T-Mobile contract, Google has the answer for you. An unlocked version of the G1 phone has gone up for sale, carrying with it a $399 price tag. That's a pretty steep price tag for a phone if you factor in the subsidies most providers offer if you sign your name on a contract, but the majority of unlocked phones come with fairly high prices anyway.

The unlocked phone, naturally, can be used with any provider. It's now the only option for potential G1 owners who don't want or can't use T-Mobile service, though that might change in the future. High pricing aside, the relative speed at which Google has brought an unlocked version of the G1 to market is encouraging. Some people don't mind paying a premium to avoid being shackled to a contract, and the Android platform itself is one many see worth paying for. At the very least it means people won't have to rely on jailbreaks to unlock the G1, which owners of many other smartphones must resort to if they want to break free from their “default” provider.