AT&T finally looks to Android as Verizon iPhone 4 launch looms

When it comes to high end superphones that make gadget fiends’ mouths water, AT&T has been a no-show in recent history. Some argue that the arrival of the iPhone made the carrier complacent, thus allowing Verizon Wireless to carve out a new role as the premier U.S. supplier of beastly smartphones. With Verizon Wireless preparing to launch its own version of the iPhone 4 next month, however, AT&T will look to regain its perceived position as the top smartphone provider in the U.S. where variety and power are concerned. Up to this point, AT&T has been very slow in adopting Android, likely as part of its efforts to keep Apple happy. It did launch a few Android smartphones of course, but none that could compete with the high-end devices being offered by competitors. All that will change in 2011. AT&T announced several top-of-the-line Android devices at CES earlier this month, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson alluded to the fact that more Android goodies are in store from the carrier this year. “[AT&T is] going to be a heavy participant in the Android market this year,” Stephenson said on the company’s earnings call on Thursday. He went on to state that AT&T would focus on both Android phones and tablets in 2011, saying the latter would be a big factor in driving revenue growth.

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