Android and Me is reporting that all Android phones in the U.S. will get Android 2.1 updates — even the G1 — but that they may be missing some features and some models will need to be wiped as part of the installation.

That makes sense, because it would allow developers to reassign some of the space set aside for over-the-air updates and use it for a larger system instead — and maybe more space for apps.

The possibility that the G1 was headed for obsolescence before my 2-year contract was up didn’t bother me much at first, but I’ve watched as even Google has released high-profile apps that required Android 2. Sure, I doubt the hardware can handle Google Earth, and Buzz turned out to be a dud, but they’re signs that Android 1.6 isn’t going to cut it for much longer.

If it does require a wipe and re-install, I can deal with that. A lot of the key data is either synced with the cloud or stored on the SD card. With luck, T-Mobile and HTC will build a decent backup and restore into the process and I won’t have to reinstall all my apps, bookmarks, etc.

Update August 2010: This is looking less and less likely as time goes on.