AT&T declines Moto's Android advances?

AT&T Mobility decided not to carry Motorola Android phones later this year, according to MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen, arguing that the devices were outdated.

According to a Barron's report citing information from Kuittinen, the two Moto models for AT&T were code-named Sawgrass (targeted at teens) and Heron (targeted at college students and young professionals) and were prototyped using Windows Mobile. However, replacing Windows with Android took so much development time that AT&T decided the devices appeared too dated to carry.

AT&T declined to comment on the news, according to TheStreet.com, while Motorola was not immediately available for comment.

And in another possible knock to Motorola: Kuittinen said Verizon Wireless initially planned to offer two Moto devices this year, but pushed one into 2010.

The possible loss of AT&T as an initial Android partner could stand as a significant roadblock to Motorola's turnaround efforts. The carrier is the second-largest in the U.S., behind Verizon. Indeed, Motorola just yesterday confirmed plans to unveil Android gadgets at an event Sept. 10 in San Francisco. Motorola is placing much of its hopes in Android to spark a revival of the company's flagging handset business.

Motorola last month said it had signed up two U.S. carriers to offer its initial Android phones this year, and those carriers are widely rumored to be Verizon and T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile USA was the first carrier in the world to embrace Android with the launch of its HTC-built G1 device last year.

However, it appears there is a continued partnership between AT&T and Motorola: AT&T currently offers a half-dozen Moto phones.

For more:
- see this Barron's article
- see this TheStreet.com article

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