Android and AT&T just cannot seem to get together. Motorola was working on two phones for the carrier but AT&T just rejected the devices claiming they were out of date.Just last week I blogged about the HTC Lancaster that at a minimum was delayed and may canceled altogether. Had it launched timely, it would have been the first Android phone on AT&T's network.
Now comes news from TheStreet.com that Motorola had two Android phones in the pipeline but AT&T has pulled the plug. It seems Moto had been prototyping the devices with Windows Mobile but had switched to Android for the final product. Either this process took longer than Moto intended or they started out with less than impressive hardware. Whatever the cause, AT&T wasn't impressed with the devices and canceled both projects.
That makes three Android based phones that AT&T has walked away from. It would be one thing if they already had a few Android offerings and just didn't like what they saw in these new devices, but they don't. They don't have a single device. Makes you wonder if AT&T is getting cold feet altogether about Android.
The article goes on to mention that Moto will have an event on September 10 to announce new Android based devices for T-Mobile and Verizon. Motorola has been struggling recently. Their last hit was the RAZR, which was an eon ago in the mobile phone world. They have put a lot of resources behind Android development but have yet to bring anything to market. This announcement is designed to change that. What is strange though is Verizon supposedly hasn't been invited to the announcement event.
Google shouldn't be too worried about this though. All platforms experience some growing pains when coming to market. It surprises me that it has been nearly a year since the G1 was released and nothing has come out since for the US market, but I'd only be concerned about Android if nothing managed to come out between now and the holiday season.
Motorola, on the other hand, should be bothered that two phones launching one of the top tier networks just got killed. How much longer can Moto stick around with no real smartphones when that is the only segment right now experiencing solid growth?
And what about AT&T? Will they ever approve an Android phone?