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AT&T to release Android, WebOS devices & new app platform

post #1 of 96
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AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., revealed on Wednesday plans to launch its first five Android-based handsets in the first half of 2010, two WebOS devices, and a new mobile application platform for non-smartphones.

The devices include a Motorola smartphone powered by MOTOBLUR, its social networking software; Dell's first smartphone, the Mini 3 -- an AT&T exclusive; and a new HTC handset also exclusive to AT&T. The company also said that two Palm WebOS-based devices would be offered "soon."

AT&T also revealed its "Apps to All" initiative, which aims to bring mobile applications beyond smartphones and to more basic mobile phones for all consumers. A new software development kit will be issued to encourage this.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said currently only iPhone users can take advantage of the platform's more than 100,000 apps. His company would like to see those options expand to other platforms as well.

"Our goal is to bring more apps to millions more of our customers who want convenient access to the market's hottest apps," de la Vega said. "At the same time, in the future, we plan to go well beyond mobile devices to spur apps development."

To reach that goal, AT&T has reached an agreement with chip maker Qualcomm to standardize app development for mid-range Quick Messaging Devices using the BREW Mobile Platform. AT&T said the devices are used by millions of customers who typically do not have access to the variety of software seen on smartphones. An estimated 30 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers who are new or upgrading are using a Quick Messaging Device.

The AT&T App Center will adopt a similar business model to Apple's App Store, with a 70-30 revenue split favoring developers.

The BREW mobile platform will begin appearing on the company's Quick Messaging Devices in the second half of the year. AT&T hopes that 90 percent of its devices in that segment will be based on BREW by 2011.

"Today, developers must essentially rebuild apps for different handsets and operating systems, increasing their costs, slowing the pace of innovation and stalling the delivery of mobile apps to customers," said David Christopher, AT&T chief marketing officer. "We want to tear down the barriers and make it much easier for developers to reach our customers -- and for our customers to access apps."

The company also announced a new "Virtual Innovation Lab" and two "Innovation Centers," which it said will help developers and spur development of new applications.

In addition, AT&T has stated a goal to offer all major smartphone OS app stores, in addition to the Android Market and iPhone App Store. Existing agreements are already in place with Nokia's Ovi store and Microsoft's Windows Marketplace. Carrier billing for mobile application stores will also be integrated.

The moves could be a sign of how AT&T intends to offset the inevitable loss of iPhone exclusivity. It is widely believed that the wireless carrier's contract with Apple expires this year. AT&T executives have, on numerous occasions, said that their contract with Apple to have exclusive access to the iPhone in the U.S. will not last forever.

With more than 3 billion downloads to date in the iPhone App Store., numerous companies have looked to replicate Apple's success. In addition to the Android Marketplace and other similar mobile phone-based stores, Intel plans to create a store for Atom-based netbooks, and TV manufacturers are interested in allowing cross-platform applications on a variety of different sets. AT&T competitor Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., also plans to have its own application store.

Most notably missing from AT&T's announcement Wednesday was Google's just-announced, Android-powered Nexus One. While the device can be bought unlocked and run on the AT&T network, it is not compatible with the company's high-speed 3G wireless frequency. On Tuesday, Google revealed that the handset, currently available for T-Mobile, would come to Verizon in the U.S. this spring.
post #2 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said currently only iPhone users can take advantage of the platform's more than 100,000 apps. His company would like to see those options expand to other platforms as well.


Sounds like they lost their iPhone exclusivity bid.

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post #3 of 96
Or that they're trying to make money and really don't care who the handset vendor is.
post #4 of 96
this is exactly what everyone wanted. a carrier is a dumb pipe and you can use any device on it
post #5 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The company also said that two Palm WebOS-based devices would be offered "soon."

Ah ha! Could that be the sound of [GSM versions of] Pre and Pixi coming to AT&T? Sounds great! Palm Pre has an elegant method of implementing multi-tasking into the user interface. I do still prefer my iPhone as multi-tasking is not important to me personally. But I do regard Palm as worthy competition (if only they would develop their own sync software!) Nice to see more Android phones too.
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post #6 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

this is exactly what everyone wanted. a carrier is a dumb pipe and you can use any device on it

Except I don't think that is what he is saying. They want even more control by creating their own App Store. Mobile is going to be the big revenue stream for the foreseeable future and the carriers are seeing dollar signs. Selling ringtones is so last decade now they want to sell applications.

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post #7 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Sounds like they lost their iPhone exclusivity bid.

It sure does. If AT&T is announcing this now, Apple will probably announce iPhone availability on other carriers in their Jan 27 event. This could have a bigger near term effect than a tablet computer.
post #8 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

It sure does. If AT&T is announcing this now, Apple will probably announce iPhone availability on other carriers in their Jan 27 event. This could have a bigger near term effect than a tablet computer.

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.
post #9 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., revealed on Wednesday plans to launch its first five Android-based handsets in the first half of 2010, two WebOS devices, and a new mobile application platform for non-smartphones.

The devices include a Motorola smartphone powered by MOTOBLUR, its social networking software; Dell's first smartphone, the Mini 3 -- an AT&T exclusive; and a new HTC handset also exclusive to AT&T. The company also said that two Palm WebOS-based devices would be offered "soon."

AT&T also revealed its "Apps to All" initiative, which aims to bring mobile applications beyond smartphones and to more basic mobile phones for all consumers. A new software development kit will be issued to encourage this.

Does this mean five times more the low signals, dropped calls, app freezes, slow app responses, call quality that iPhone users "enjoy" now...

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post #10 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Sounds like they lost their iPhone exclusivity bid.

Oh, that is awesome. Ready or not, here goes AAPL to $300.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Oh, that is awesome. Ready or not, here goes AAPL to $300.

As Quagmire from "The Family Guy" would say...

"I'm Ready!, I'm Ready!, I'm Ready!", Giggidy, Giggidy!!

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post #12 of 96
Quote:
Today, developers must essentially rebuild apps for different handsets and operating systems, increasing their costs, slowing the pace of innovation and stalling the delivery of mobile apps to customers

Hmm... I take issue with that comment.

It is directly because of competing platforms that innovation moves forward. If every one ran the same OS and development environment, there never would be anything innovative going on.

The iPhone happened because Apple was able to design and develop their own platform, pushing the market forward. Palm's webOS, while nearly not as popular as iPhone OS, did the same thing.

Innovation slows when the entire market is busy trying to be good-enough-me-too products that don't offer anything new to users.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #13 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

It sure does. If AT&T is announcing this now, Apple will probably announce iPhone availability on other carriers in their Jan 27 event. This could have a bigger near term effect than a tablet computer.

That would be a good time to do it, especially with other vendors getting closer to the iPhone so waiting for a full year to pass before giving us the iPhone OS demo, new SDK and then the new HW may not be viable strategy anymore.
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post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.

Apple rarely takes two steps forward and one step back, and I agree, making a CDMA phone for US market would be just that, but maybe they'll make an LTE phone that works well in a few cities and if you want it, you may have to carry a cheap second phone around in case of emergencies.

You know some people will put up with a lot of inconvenience to have the latest and greatest product from Apple. Like myself, I kept my original VZ phone but just reduced my plan for a year after getting the iPhone. I eventually canceled my Verizon account. Although I admit AT&T's signal was horrible with the original 2007 iPhone release, it has really improved as of late.

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post #15 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.

I agree. Apple would only add support for CDMA, if it could also be used on 3G networks as well. I doubt Apple would want to make two versions of the phone for the same market. It would only happen if the same phone could support both networks without adding too much cost. I also believe the only way you're ever going to get one of these iPhone's on Verizon's network, is to buy an unsubsidized phone. Apple is not going to give up any amount of control to Verizon, just for a subsidy.

We will definitely see iPhone on T-Mobile though.
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post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.

In order to make that statement, a person would have to know (at least):
1. How many Verizon and Sprint subscribers will buy a CDMA iPhone.
2. How long CDMA networks will be available to those subscribers.
3. How much additional cost there is in manufacturing a CDMA iPhone.
4. What margin will Apple receive on CDMA iPhones.
5. What margin is Apple modeling for all iPhones.
6. What is the value of exposing millions of new customers to Apple products.
7. How long will people keep their first CDMA iPhone, vis a vis the availability of
feasible multi-radio chips and the rollout of LTE networks.

Once a person knows all those things, they would have to make a complex calculation to determine if it is a good business idea. If you know all these things and have done the calculation and determined it is dumb, then you are correct.
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

In order to make that statement, a person would have to know (at least):
1. How many Verizon and Sprint subscribers will buy a CDMA iPhone.
2. How long CDMA networks will be available to those subscribers.
3. How much additional cost there is in manufacturing a CDMA iPhone.
4. What margin will Apple receive on CDMA iPhones.
5. What margin is Apple modeling for all iPhones.
6. What is the value of exposing millions of new customers to Apple products.
7. How long will people keep their first CDMA iPhone, vis a vis the availability of
feasible multi-radio chips and the rollout of LTE networks.

Once a person knows all those things, they would have to make a complex calculation to determine if it is a good business idea. If you know all these things and have done the calculation and determined it is dumb, then you are correct.

Why go through all that analysis? Just ask Steve if he wants to do it!

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post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Why go through all that analysis? Just ask Steve if he wants to do it!

You are correct. That is all that probably matters.
post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.

They would be dumb to increase revenue by many billions of dollars? Please explain.
post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

You are correct. That is all that probably matters.

Not quite. He still needs to make a deal with Verizon, who would presumably want to restrict the iPhone experience to almost the bare minimum, so that it would be able to force its own app store down the throats of consumers tied to that carrier rather than the App Store. At least with Apple, you can change carriers and still keep your apps. What would happen with the Verizon iPhone? Apps that only are valid on whatever carrier you bought them on? Because as I see it, that's practically what Verizon would want. That and not giving Apple any of their profits.
post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Not quite. He still needs to make a deal with Verizon, who would presumably want to restrict the iPhone experience to almost the bare minimum, so that it would be able to force its own app store down the throats of consumers tied to that carrier rather than the App Store. At least with Apple, you can change carriers and still keep your apps. What would happen with the Verizon iPhone? Apps that only are valid on whatever carrier you bought them on? Because as I see it, that's practically what Verizon would want. That and not giving Apple any of their profits.

I hear you and I thought of that too. We should note that several people have stated that Verizon has loosened up considerably and is not restricting other phones as much as they used to do (e.g. Droid). Also, I think having a carrier restrict the iPhone now is not nearly as much an issue as it would have been when the iPhone was first released. Back in 2007, all the capabilities of the iPhone were not known, so if AT&T had restricted it too much, people would never have seen all the possibilities. If Verizon, for example, were to restrict an iPhone on its network now, it would be a well-publicized competitive disadvantage to competing carriers who did not restrict it. You are correct in noting the app store issue. I have a feeling this is still an obstacle to any agreement between Apple and Verizon.
post #22 of 96
So we have another example of a bunch of companies trying to do something they are not good at and wasting billions of $ only to fail in the end.

AT&T is not a application company, the are network provide and they should focus their investment there. Iphone was success with them because they only focus on the providing the service (i know they had network issue) image how bad it was if they did everything Apple is good at plus the network, it would have failed.
post #23 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post

Ah ha! Could that be the sound of [GSM versions of] Pre and Pixi coming to AT&T? Sounds great! Palm Pre has an elegant method of implementing multi-tasking into the user interface. I do still prefer my iPhone as multi-tasking is not important to me personally. But I do regard Palm as worthy competition (if only they would develop their own sync software!) Nice to see more Android phones too.

I think Palm is close to being on Life Support.

Android hurts them more than iPhone does.

App development looks like crap on that thing. Android certainly is respectable.

When the dust settles, its iPhone and Android.

RIM will still have a business stronghold for a good while. In 3 years since the iPhone was introduced, I have seen little in updates to the Blackberry frankly. Just don't know why a normal user would pick a Blackberry unless they just have a no way Jose hangup with software keyboards.

Windows Mobile should just break out the coffin and Symbian will continue to lose share.

Why do you think Apple is getting hit with all the Nokia lawsuits?
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

They would be dumb to increase revenue by many billions of dollars? Please explain.

Apple might look at it as an old technology and would rather move forward to LTE thus inspiring VZ to expedite their roll out plans. Apple leads, others follow.

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post #25 of 96
AMAZING! This just in! - Less standardization means more development!!!
post #26 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Except Apple would still be dumb to make a CDMA phone and the likelihood of even a dual one next time is still very slim.

I used to think that too. Now, I'm not so sure.

The Qualacomm dual chip won't be seen until the second half of this year, so whether it could be used in an iPhone is questionable right now. But Apple could still do it as others have, using two chips. It's not elegant, and uses more board space and power, but who knows?

I'm not sure about announcing it during January though, that could hurt sales.

The other question is whether Verizon will implement the new standard of voice/data that's recently been approved. Would Apple, and it's users want a network that didn't allow that?

Imagine users moving from AT&T finding out that they couldn't talk and browse?
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I used to think that too. Now, I'm not so sure.

The Qualacomm dual chip won't be seen until the second half of this year, so whether it could be used in an iPhone is questionable right now. But Apple could still do it as others have, using two chips. It's not elegant, and uses more board space and power, but who knows?

I'm not sure about announcing it during January though, that could hurt sales.

The other question is whether Verizon will implement the new standard of voice/data that's recently been approved. Would Apple, and it's users want a network that didn't allow that?

Imagine users moving from AT&T finding out that they couldn't talk and browse?

Think PA Semi.
post #28 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Oh, that is awesome. Ready or not, here goes AAPL to $300.

Well, check how much they fell today after that announcement, along with others made at CES.
post #29 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

In order to make that statement, a person would have to know (at least):
1. How many Verizon and Sprint subscribers will buy a CDMA iPhone.
2. How long CDMA networks will be available to those subscribers.
3. How much additional cost there is in manufacturing a CDMA iPhone.
4. What margin will Apple receive on CDMA iPhones.
5. What margin is Apple modeling for all iPhones.
6. What is the value of exposing millions of new customers to Apple products.
7. How long will people keep their first CDMA iPhone, vis a vis the availability of
feasible multi-radio chips and the rollout of LTE networks.

Once a person knows all those things, they would have to make a complex calculation to determine if it is a good business idea. If you know all these things and have done the calculation and determined it is dumb, then you are correct.

Well you are just thinking of the USA.

My point about a CDMA phone being "dumb" is that it's a fading technology and pretty much not used anywhere except the USA. I think the conventional wisdom is that even if the entire USA was on CDMA, it probably wouldn't make sense to make a CDMA phone. It's a dead end technology.
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

So we have another example of a bunch of companies trying to do something they are not good at and wasting billions of $ only to fail in the end.

AT&T is not a application company, the are network provide and they should focus their investment there. Iphone was success with them because they only focus on the providing the service (i know they had network issue) image how bad it was if they did everything Apple is good at plus the network, it would have failed.

Exactly. ATT Wireless [McCaw Cellular] outsourced from the beginning it's app development for it's Call Center Suite and much more.

They used Siemens after the Openstep transition via Java.

Now I'm to believe their Call Center backend app experience, again outsourced to third parties, somehow means they are building an Apple Store for Droid java phones and figure the Droid platform being managed by Google is all they need to do?

They'll waste billions and get nowhere.
post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I hear you and I thought of that too. We should note that several people have stated that Verizon has loosened up considerably and is not restricting other phones as much as they used to do (e.g. Droid). Also, I think having a carrier restrict the iPhone now is not nearly as much an issue as it would have been when the iPhone was first released. Back in 2007, all the capabilities of the iPhone were not known, so if AT&T had restricted it too much, people would never have seen all the possibilities. If Verizon, for example, were to restrict an iPhone on its network now, it would be a well-publicized competitive disadvantage to competing carriers who did not restrict it. You are correct in noting the app store issue. I have a feeling this is still an obstacle to any agreement between Apple and Verizon.

Verizon announced a while ago that manufacturers can have their own app store on their networked phones. I would assume that means Apple would have the iTunes and App Store. Verizon also said that they would have their own app store. Whether that means that all phones would be required to be able to use it as well isn't known, as Verizon hasn't made that clear.

But right now, pricing seems to be the big issue between Apple and Verizon.
post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Think PA Semi.

PA Semi won't be making radio chips. They will be making processors. Radio chips are a whole different ball game.
post #33 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Well you are just thinking of the USA.

My point about a CDMA phone being "dumb" is that it's a fading technology and pretty much not used anywhere except the USA. I think the conventional wisdom is that even if the entire USA was on CDMA, it probably wouldn't make sense to make a CDMA phone. It's a dead end technology.

It's used in Japan and on some Chinese networks. Probably for a total of around 250 million customers all told. That's not something to sneeze at.
post #34 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Hmm... I take issue with that comment.

It is directly because of competing platforms that innovation moves forward. If every one ran the same OS and development environment, there never would be anything innovative going on.

The iPhone happened because Apple was able to design and develop their own platform, pushing the market forward. Palm's webOS, while nearly not as popular as iPhone OS, did the same thing.

Innovation slows when the entire market is busy trying to be good-enough-me-too products that don't offer anything new to users.

You misunderstood. The references are to "app development" specifically. It is not "directly because of competing platforms that <app> innovation moves forward."
post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

So we have another example of a bunch of companies trying to do something they are not good at and wasting billions of $ only to fail in the end.

AT&T is not a application company, the are network provide and they should focus their investment there. Iphone was success with them because they only focus on the providing the service (i know they had network issue) image how bad it was if they did everything Apple is good at plus the network, it would have failed.

AT&T is only a network provider? LOL
post #36 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple might look at it as an old technology and would rather move forward to LTE thus inspiring VZ to expedite their roll out plans. Apple leads, others follow.

That won't work, because LTE will need to fall back to CDMA on Verizon's network when LTE is not available, just like 3G falls back to Edge and GPRS. Apple needs a CDMA-capable phone to support Verizon within the five years. The buzz is growing; the Verizon iPhone is coming.
post #37 of 96
This year might be the year where every major carrier will have same phones. It might be.
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post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

I think Palm is close to being on Life Support.

Android hurts them more than iPhone does.

App development looks like crap on that thing. Android certainly is respectable.

When the dust settles, its iPhone and Android.

RIM will still have a business stronghold for a good while. In 3 years since the iPhone was introduced, I have seen little in updates to the Blackberry frankly. Just don't know why a normal user would pick a Blackberry unless they just have a no way Jose hangup with software keyboards.

Well they have been on life support for the past year or more. Palm has made quite the resurgence, but being exclusive to Sprint for so long was incredibly silly (or they were testing the water) They just went international and are now bringing the action to AT&T and Verizon, which gives the platform a much better chance at getting recognition and more widespread acceptance. As nice as the Pre is...Sprint? F*ck that lol.

RIM is successful because "It just works". People use phones as a communication device and the Blackberry has no superior in this regard. It doesnt have the eye candy that other platforms have (yet) or the webkit (yet) but the platform works and remarkably well.

Anyways, AT&T needs more phones other than the iPhone and 4 BlackBerrys so i see this as a great boost for AT&T. Hopefully the HTC HD2 makes its way to AT&T since the Nexus One is going to be on T-Mo and Verizon.
post #39 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Verizon announced a while ago that manufacturers can have their own app store on their networked phones. I would assume that means Apple would have the iTunes and App Store. Verizon also said that they would have their own app store. Whether that means that all phones would be required to be able to use it as well isn't known, as Verizon hasn't made that clear.

But right now, pricing seems to be the big issue between Apple and Verizon.

Verizon also has not made clear if phones which only use the Verizon app store get a higher subsidy than phones which can also use non-Verizon app stores. I think the pricing and app store issues cannot be separated within the overall negotiation.
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's used in Japan and on some Chinese networks. Probably for a total of around 250 million customers all told. That's not something to sneeze at.

There are 500 million CMDA2000 users, 130 million EV-DO users, if the EV-DO users are a subset of the CDMA ones, I don't know, but I guess they would be.
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