AT&T won’t offer Android-powered handsets any time soon

via Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 11/7/08

The key to Android’s success in the US will undoubtedly be carrier adoption which is still the only effective way to sell handsets in this country – just ask Nokia how its Nseries and Eseries lines are doing here. One carrier however, just isn’t going to cut it. The T-Mobile partnership was a great move for both parties involved and it was a tremendous start to Google’s mobile OS efforts here in the US. T-Mobile was all for it as it brought them hype and exclusivity and Google was all for it as, well, it let them launch a handset. Google has a long road ahead of it on its way to becoming a successful player in the US market however, and having its OS publicly rejected by two of the four major US carriers was surely not a goal. First Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made the now-famous comment that Android isn’t “good enough to put the Sprint brand on,” and now AT&T has made a similar sentiment public. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told The San Fransisco Chronicle that while AT&T has been looking into Android for a while, it has no plans of offering an Android-powered handset any time soon. One of the reasons given, which may have been a nice little pot-shot at Google, was that Android needs to “open up more” and offer some “non-Google” applications. Burn. For de la Vega to publicly say that Google’s open OS needs to “open up more” isn’t a good sign. Hopefully next year when the app store is a but more flushed out AT&T will sing a different tune.

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