In an effort to promote development from third-party programmers on Android, Google will begin selling special development Android phones to registered Android Marketplace users ($25 membership) for $399.
The phone, which is the same cost as an unlocked, no contract G1 from T-Mobile, will allow devs to load custom firmware and test applications with a bootloader. This will let them take advantage of the open source platform and do all types of hacky things.
This is a different approach to mobile development than the one Apple is taking. iPhone developers can test their applications on any iPhone if they are part of Apple's developer program, but are responsible for the contract on the iPhone.
It's a good strategy for Google, but I don't see programmers flocking to Android just yet. Apple is enjoying a lot of third-party development for the iPhone because a lot of people have iPhones. There's money to be made. The jury is still out on Android's install base.
Do you have or even know anyone that has the T-Mobile G1? I don't.