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

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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