In the next few weeks both Verizon and Sprint are launching multiple Android-powered smart phones. In fact, Sprint just announced another Android device, the Samsung Moment, today. This will leave AT&T as the odd man out with no Android phones. However, if some new rumors are to be believed,
Dell may be partnering with AT&T
to change that as early as 2010.
The Dell Mini 3i was originally created for the Chinese market. It lacks both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The version of Android it runs is also more heavily modified than would be acceptable for the US market. The camera on the Chinese version is also fairly lackluster.
This is an exciting time for Google’s Android OS. A recent report indicates that this open-source OS will command more of the market than the iPhone, Blackberry, or WinMo by 2012. AT&T can’t afford to hedge its bets on the iPhone.
There are still unanswered questions as to the features Dell might bring to the Mini 3i in the US. In the end, AT&T might only need a mid-range feature set. If they can maintain their iPhone exclusivity, they might not care if they have a high-end Android handset. Still, if the projections are accurate, AT&T will want experience with Android, no matter the handset quality.