After being reluctant to support the Android platform, AT&T is now ready to launch five new handsets in the first half of 2010. Established, Android leaders HTC and Motorola will be supplying the phones along with Dell, who will offer their first smartphone for the United States.
Details on the exact models were lacking, but AT&T provided the following information:
- A Motorola smartphone, powered by MOTOBLUR, with a unique form factor and an AT&T exclusive
- Dell’s first smartphone, based on the Android platform and an AT&T exclusive
- A HTC smartphone, based on the Android platform, and an AT&T exclusive
The Motorola phone is almost certainly the Backflip, which features a reverse flip keyboard. This Android phone will be quite similar to the CLIQ (same CPU with Android 1.5), except for the unique form factor. The device is nearly finished and hopefully it will launch in the near future.
Dell recently launched the Android-powered Mini 3 in China and we expect a similar, retooled device for the U.S.
We don’t know of any specific HTC phones headed to AT&T, but check out their leaked 2010 roadmap for a preview of possible form factors. AT&T was rumored to launch the HTC Lancaster last year, but apparently that phone was canned.
AT&T has committed to offer all major smartphone OS app stores (including Android Market), but their Android phones could look quite different from the other carriers. The Motorola Backflip is reported to lack Gmail (and several other Google apps), which has been replaced by Yahoo Mail.
It could be AT&T’s desire to remove all Google services and replace them with their own alternatives.
Head on over to the AT&T News Room for the full press release.