Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

AT&T aims to step up its Android offerings

by Howard Wolinsky

The AT&T (T) monopoly of iPhones from Apple (AAPL)—in effect since 2007—is finally ending on Feb. 10 as Verizon Wireless (VZ) launches its iPhone 4.

Loads of people may be planning to beat tracks to Verizon and leave behind their phones with Google’s (GOOG) Android OS.

Meanwhile, the telecom behemoths will switch smartphone strategies a bit.

AT&T, which will still offer iPhone, will be pushing Droids. And Verizon, which had great success with Android, now will be pushing its own iPhone 4—along with the fact that it’s not AT&T.

AT&T announced to analysts last week that it plans to push Android. “We’re going to be a heavy participant in the Android market this year, so you’re going to see a significant shift in the mix of phones,” said AT&T’s chief executive, Randall L. Stephenson.

Zach Epstein said in BGR “When it comes to high end superphones that make gadget fiends’ mouths water, AT&T has been a no-show in recent history. Some argue that the arrival of the iPhone made the carrier complacent, thus allowing Verizon Wireless to carve out a new role as the premier U.S. supplier of beastly smartphones.”

He said AT&T had been slow to adopt Android, likely to keep its Apple masters happy.

But AT&T said it plans to step up its Android game in 2011.

Epstein noted that AT&T announced several top-of-the-line Android devices at CES earlier this month, adding that Stephenson “alluded to the fact that more Android goodies are in store from the carrier this year.”

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Still, AT&T will have to be convincing to win over consumers who have heard so many complaints about AT&T’s network.

But can they win over people who simply want to have an iPhone?

Take my former Chicago Sun-Times colleague Lynn Voedisch, tech editor of Technorati, who blogged: “Farewell, My Android. The iPhone Will Enter My Life.”

She wrote: “Bye-bye, Android. As of Feb. 10, you will no longer be my cell phone. It's not that you didn't delight me at times. You were pretty good. Fun, even. But you weren't…I have to say it: an iPhone.”