Elvis impersonators, patriot jets salute MyTouch arrival

What do Elvis, skydivers, and confetti have to do with a cell phone? We're not sure either. But T-Mobile used all of those, along with all sorts of other random hoopla, to celebrate the release of the MyTouch 3G.

Celebrity impersonators celebrate T-Mobile's MyTouch 3G at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.
Celebrity impersonators including Elvis, Liza, and Tina celebrate T-Mobile's MyTouch 3G at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. James Martin/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO--Wearing an all-white Elvis suit, a parachuter blazed down into Justin Herman Plaza here as giant balloons of confetti exploded, U2's "Beautiful Day" blasted, and a broadcaster announced, "Ladies and Gentleman, T-Mobile is proud to present the MyTouch with Google."

What do Elvis, skydivers, and confetti have to do with a cell phone? We're not sure either. But T-Mobile used all of those, along with all sorts of other random hoopla to celebrate the release of the MyTouch 3G on Wednesday.

MyTouch, T-Mobile's second Google Android phone, has a touch screen that lets users customize the phone to be "100% You." It's filled with all sorts of applications, including Sherpa, Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, and Picasa. It goes on sale for $199.99 in stores and online Wednesday.

T-Mobile parachuter descends into Justin Herman Plaza.
A T-Mobile parachuter descends into Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. James Martin/CNET

But there was little about the actual phone at T-Mobile's campy event. Throngs of people in fluorescent green shirts gave out MyTouch-branded chapstick and luggage tags; skateboarders and gymnasts practiced flips, and celebrity impersonators (Tina Turner, Magnum P.I., Jimi Hendrix, to name a few) danced around.

Then there were the skydivers and patriot jets. "You are about to witness a historical event of epic proportions," announced the broadcaster as L39 patriot jets flew over the Bay (they were flying a tad too low for people to see them).

As the skydivers jumped from 12,500 feet, the broadcaster yelled, "Look up, look up now!" Slowly descending, circling each other, with colored smoke trailing from their packs, the skydivers elicited ohhs and ahhhs from the crowd. One skydiver with a T-Mobile flag billowing out of his cowboy boots got dangerously close to the spectators as he tumbled down onto the life-size MyTouch landing pad.

Did all of this commotion encourage onlookers to go out and buy a MyTouch phone? Word had it people were excited about the phone. But one spectator, Don Hatch, who was especially impressed by the skydivers said, "I don't even carry a cell phone, I've never liked cell phones and still won't buy one."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, T-Mobile paid the city $17,500 to put on this event. Could this jump-start California's economy?

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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