AT&T to Get First Android Smartphone
AT&T has been the last major cell phone network to not offer a phone powered by Google's Android operating system. The company plans to change that when it introduces one of Motorola's latest Android phones, the Backflip, to its cell phone lineup.
The Motorola Backflip is a flip phone with a full QWERTY keyboard that flips back from the screen to create an angled stand for the screen. The keyboard is designed to facilitate media on the phone by letting users prop up the phone to view videos and pictures. Another nonstandard feature on the phone is the touch-sensitive panel on the back of the phone. This allows users to navigate menus and select options without needing to touch the screen.
The Backflip on AT&T signals the full acceptance of the Android platform as a mainstream option for smartphone consumers. T-Mobile was the first to offer an Android phone, the G1 or HTC Dream, and other networks have been slow to follow suit as they waited to see how consumers accepted the platform.
Late last year, Verizon and Sprint invested heavily in Android with the inclusion of the Motorola DROID and the HTC Hero smart phones, respectively, with tangible success. That left many AT&T customers wondering when they would get an Android option.
The Backflip is only the beginning for Android on AT&T. Last month, AT&T promised that there would be five Android phones on its network by the end of 2010, though AT&T hasn't revealed which they would be.
AT&T will offer the Motorola Backflip starting on March 7 for $100 with a 2-year service contract.