Oct 13 AT 12:35 AM Taylor Wimberly 23 Comments

AT&T ready to take on Verizon in upcoming Android war

If you asked me to rank all the major U.S. carriers in relation to their support for Android, I would probably place AT&T at the bottom. They were the last carrier to launch an Android phone, they lock down their devices from installing non-Market apps, and they didn’t have any high-end Android phones till this summer when they launched the Samsung Captivate.

Most of us assumed AT&T wasn’t really interested in pushing Android because they were the privileged carrier for the iPhone in the U.S. and had a tight alliance with Apple. As some of you are aware by now that exclusive relationship is coming to an end and Apple is making a version of its iPhone that is headed to Verizon early next year.

Now that the shackles have come off AT&T, they are ready to embrace every mobile OS (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Palm, WP7) and it appears Google fans are about to get a lot of love.

According to a trusted source who wishes to remain anonymous (yeah, yeah, I know!), AT&T has made a deal with Motorola and will likely be the first carrier to launch a dual-core phone running Gingerbread (which might actually turn out to be Android 3.0 – that is still uncertain). That device is the Motorola Olympus MB860, which we have lovingly been referring to as the Terminator.

We already knew the Terminator (Tegra 2, get it?) was coming to multiple carriers in early 2011, but none had been named outside of Verizon. I previously wrote that another carrier would launch the phone before Verizon, so it makes sense that Motorola is teaming up with the 2nd largest carrier to promote their next flagship product.

Hopefully we can wrangle up some blurry-cam photos for all the non-believers, but I don’t think the juicy leaks with all the details will appear till November when this phone reaches the hands of testers.

As for Verizon’s version of the device, I’m still getting conflicting reports on whether it will really be their first 4G LTE phone or not. Some are saying every Droid phone in 2011 will be LTE and others are saying LTE phones will not appear till summer 2011 (later than the launch of this superphone). The Motorola 10.1 inch tablet (Stingray/Everest/Etc.) will definitely support Verizon’s 4G with a plugin LTE modem, but I’m really doubting they can launch a 4G phone in early 2011. I guess we will find out at CES in a couple of months. Please prove me wrong Verizon.

Finally, I’m sorry Sprint and T-Mobile fans but I have no news for you regarding this “Terminator” phone. Maybe that LG phone with Tegra 2 will magically appear in the coming months, but I have heard absolutely nothing since the press release last month and they delayed their tablet to 2011.

p.s. I thought I was the only one really following this Tegra 2 phone story, but keep your eyes on Kellen from Droid-Life because he has joined me in the hunt.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://thephonenerd.com The Phone Nerd

    I’ve seen AT&T slowly back away from Apple and embrace Android – for a lot of reasons, but they’re not the only GSM carrier that offers the iPhone that’s taking steps to reduce their dependence – O2 has a whole line up of Windows Phones ready to launch – and Im not the only one who thinks that AT&T is breaking out of the iPhone envelope.

  • http://Website Chancy

    The idiots have finally awoken from their apple induced slumber. They better pray it’s not too little too late.

  • http://www.androidappreviewsource.com Android App Reviews

    Once Verizon has the iPhone and AT&T is free to get more Android phones it should be interesting to see how many of their customers will switch to Android.

    • http://Website Gee

      I’m more worried over what the iPhone does to Verizon Android users.

      • http://Website Keefers

        People choose Droid because they don’t like steve jobs restrictions etc. People with Android are not interested in the iphone.

        • http://Website johnny b

          You gotta think too though people with iPhones don’t want anything to do with android. I think alot of people will leave att and switch to Verizon just for the iPhone. IPhone fanboys are afraid to take the jump into the awesomeness called android. I’m not saying it will hurt android but I don’t think we will see the spikes in sales as we did before. .

        • http://Website Gee

          I seriously doubt that “normal people” care about any of that. They just want what is popular — and right now, that’s the iPhone. People on Verizon Android phones are Android users by default — they prefer Verizon and the best phones on Verizon are Android phones. But like I said, what happens when the iPhone hits Verizon? It’s more likely that we’ll see more people jumping to the iPhone than the other way around.

          • http://Website johnny b

            That’s pretty much what I was trying to say and sadly I agree. People are so brainwashed at how awesome (not) the iPhone is. I don’t necessarily think people will switch from android to iPhone but alot of people are gonna bypass android cuz they think the norm is iPhone. It irritates me when people put fckin iPhone on this pedistal likes its gold when they don’t know what they are missing with android and don’t want anything to do with it.

  • http://Website Chris

    Finally! I am so tired of walking into the at&t store only to be pulled to the iphone booth and to find the sales rep knows literally nothing about any other phones!

  • http://Website Glock|

    I think it is entirely too late for them. The floods of iPhone users showed the nation just how weak their network was. In fast, I believe their poor choice in tiered data plans had a lot to do with fear of the iPhone 4 flooding the network. Now you want to rely on something that’s FAR more data heavy than an iPhone and keep it within the confines of 2GB? My Droid ate that for breakfast and my Fascinate now does it for lunch too. I hate to say it AT&T, unless you invest in towers at the rate which Verizon does, it’s game over.

    • http://Website johnny b

      Much agreed about the tiered data plans. Stupid idea I think. I use an average of 8gb of data a month with my Droid. Limiting data eliminates apps like slacker and Pandora. I mean if you wanna tier your plans still offer an unlimited plan and leave the 2gb plans for people who just own a smart phone to own one. If Verizon switches to tiered data I’m either goin to sprint or back to a trusty dusty flip phone!

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  • Dave K

    Let’s not jump the gun on a CDMA version of the iPhone coming out on Verizon early next year. That’s still just speculation.

  • http://Website leftbrain99

    I believe Olympus is a TABLET headed for AT&T. Everest is a larger tablet headed for Verizon. Tegra2 phone is not Olympus.

  • http://Website Dalingrin

    Please, no more eFuse so I can actually buy this phone.

  • http://Website Moo

    Is it just me or does it seem like AT&T is trying to make exclusive deals or lock down first carrier on the future top phones or possibility top phones? First iPhone, then WP7 for 2010, and now first to launch the”Terminator.” I would bet that they tried to lock an exclusive deal on that until Motorola so no sir lol! I wonder if they didn’t try to keep all the awesomeness to themselves would they even be much of a competition. What is their motive. Just thinking out loud, what are your thoughts?

  • http://Website caabbyy

    its not to late. its time for them to have more selection of android phones. and coming out with a phone already with up to date android os 2.2 or 3.0 would be a good sign. I’m glad they finally are cus by early nextyear comes my upgrade time :D I was rly considering saving up 600 dollars to pay early temination fees so I could go to verizon or sprint lol

  • http://Website B Thomas

    In my opinion Motorola would be making a mistake. To launch the T2 with AT&T. They have worst signal. And the worst customer service in the industry. They are scared to death to be losing there deal with the iPhone. That they are scrambling to now finally offer a proper android phone, witch we all know they will load up with a bunch of bloatwear. And lock it down. Making it useless. I can’t wait to watch hoards of iPhone user’s leave At&t when Verizon launches it on there super reliable 3G and new LTE network. Then Verizon will rule the air with Droid and IPhone!
    Motorola should let Verizon launch the new T2 phone. Because they will do it right. Just look at what they did with the Motodroid1 & 2. They put Motorola back on top!

    DROID DOSES

  • http://Website Ryan Kim

    If it runs motoblur, then it doesn’t count as an android phone.

  • http://Website Anonymous

    NO! AT&T will not have the first dual core! Verizon is launching the world’s first Dual core its gonna be the T2 which will be the Galaxy s 2 with a GHz proccessor and Android 3.0 is far from being released.. it is still being tested.. it is rumored that the Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) will have some type of engine that will allow the phone to use apple apps, android apps and blackberry apps. It is also rumored that the gingerbread will have a high tech charging system that will allow the phone to charge itself witih wifi.. dont beleive me? look it up