Is AT&T About To Join The Google Android Alliance? - InformationWeek

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11/18/2007
04:06 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Is AT&T About To Join The Google Android Alliance?

According to this brief report, AT&T is in talks with Google to join the Open Handset Alliance. Holy handset, Batman, this could be big.

According to this brief report, AT&T is in talks with Google to join the Open Handset Alliance. Holy handset, Batman, this could be big.So far only T-Mobile USA and Sprint have signed on as carrier partners for Google's Android alliance. Neither carrier, however, has said what they specifically plan to do with the alliance, but so far its assumed that they will offer Android-based cell phones as well as work with Android partners to enable applications.

According to reports from last week, T-Mobile, not Sprint, will likely be the first carrier to launch Android-powered mobile phones. And T-Mobile will likely be the U.S. carrier that will work the most with Google.

But, this could all change if AT&T signs on for Android. As the largest carrier in the U.S., AT&T has the subscriber base and the clout to help make Android a hit with consumers.

As the leading business-focused wireless carrier, AT&T could conceivably help push Android phones into the business market, especially if AT&T were to white label Android devices designed specifically for business users.

Of course, this is still a rumor at this stage. Plus, as I pointed out two weeks ago, there is nothing in Android's Terms of Service that would prevent AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile from launching locked-down Android phones, either.

What do you think? Will AT&T join the Open Handset Alliance? And if the company does will AT&T offer truly open Android phones or will the carrier just lock down any Google devices it carries on its network?

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