CTIA Preview: Android, Android everywhere
With no disrespect intended to the fine work that Palm and RIM, in particular, have been doing as of late, when Fall CTIA kicks off in San Diego tomorrow morning, it's all gonna be about Android. That's not to say I won't be watching along with you to see what Aaron and Adriana think of the Palm Pixi and whatever new phones wind up in BlackBerry's booth - not to mention those new Windows Mobile 6.5 devices I unboxed yesterday - but really it's Android's time at long last.
The sad thing about the age of Internets and blogs and leaks and forums is that we've already seen many of the devices slated to launch at the show this week. Heck, I'm almost certain that companies like Microsoft, AT&T, and HTC chose to unveil their new gear before the show not to keep it from getting lost in the fray, but rather to avoid the anti-climactic nature of a show full of new products long ago leaked to the Web. But I hope I'm wrong - I hope we see at least one or two totally out of nowhere new phones debut in So Cal tomorrow.
That said, this week's show should really serve as Android's coming out party. No longer relegated to two phones on the US' fourth largest carrier only, Google's mobile OS will hit store shelves in a big way before this year's holiday shopping season has come and gone. We already know about Sprint's HTC Hero and T-Mobile's Motorola CLIQ and Samsung Behold 2, and by week's end we should be more familiar with the "Instinct Q," or whatever Samsung is really going to call their first Android device for Sprint. And, oh yeah, maybe we'll see that T-Mobile Pulse, as well.
Google and Android held a joint presser earlier today to announce that they're now holding hands and skipping off together in search of a better tomorrow ... and that we should see two Android phones for Big Red in the coming weeks. Looks like that means the Motorola Tao ("Sholes") and a Verizon version of the HTC Hero.
So that's what, six or possibly seven new U.S. market Android phones being launched for the Fall/Winter season? At minimum? That's crazy.
You know what's even crazier than that? None of 'em are bound for AT&T. It's true. Sprint, T-Mobile and now Verizon are all aboard the Android train, but AT&T is abstaining in favor of Apple. Could it be that Apple and Google have really broken up and are now gearing up to battle for control of the world's cellular marketshare? And will AT&T be forced to stay away from Android - and Verizon from iPhone - as a result?
It's like a soap opera full of A's, huh? Thankfully we've got our own pair of A's, Aaron and Adriana, on the ground in San Diego to bring you the latest as it happens. Should be a fun week - stay tuned!