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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