About three months ago, word was released that AT&T would be revising their smartphone lineup. It has been three years now that AT&T has been pushing the iPhone and not focusing intently on any other smartphone. They've shown a particular interest in Windows Phone 7 since launch and now, one day before CES, some pretty big new about the carrier has been unveiled.
Android is all the craze these days and AT&T's lineup has been rather weak for some time now, only offering two high-end and a few other mid-range Android smartphones. In just the past four hours, things have completely changed for the carrier. We've been introduced to the Samsung Infuse, Motorola Atrix 4G, and the HTC Inspire 4G, three very impressive Android devices that we can expect to see in the coming months (Infuse in Q2, Atrix and Inspire in Q1). That isn't all though. A press release revealed that they plan to have 20 new devices that can connect to their 4G network by the end of 2011, at least 12 of them will be Android devices. AT&T also plans to launch two 4G capable tablets by the end of summer, one on LTE and the other on HSPA+. More tablets are to come after the second half of the year.
While we thought AT&T was just twiddling their thumbs, they were actually sitting around waiting for the perfect pitch to knock a grand slam with. Apparently, that ball came the day before CES officially kicked off. Do you think all of this is a response to the recent claims that they're the worst carrier out there? I know these things don't exactly deal with pricing and customer service, but their smartphone lineup was also a large reason for many users being so upset with them. We knew they were planning to support Android a little more in the future, but I never would have expected them to take it on so strongly. It looks like they're trying to steal the Android crown from Big Red with three very powerful handsets, and huge plans for the platform spanning through the rest of the year.
I assume Ol' Blue has noticed what a success Android has been for Verizon and they're finally ready to get in on the action. No matter what their reason is, AT&T is catching up with Verizon rather quickly in the number of subscribers. Having a strong Windows Phone 7 lineup, the iPhone 4, and a final Android push could give them the leg up they need to take that title. Let's not forget though, Verizon will soon be getting an iPhone of their own and Windows Phone 7 will be headed to the carrier in the near future. Get your lawn chairs and some popcorn, folks. This could get interesting.
I'm sure all of these choices will make it hard for you AT&T users to make a decision come upgrade time. But hey, who doesn't like choices? Of all the devices we have seen just today, which is your favorite? Does the 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display tickle your fancy? Or are you more enticed by a 4-inch qHD display and a Tegra 2 processor?