AT&T Gets Its Android On
AT&T has finally added an Android smartphone to its lineup–the Motorola Backflip. Announced this past January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the device is similar to Verizon’s Droid in that it features both a touchscreen and keypad, but with an interesting twist: A Qwerty keyboard that flips out from behind the display.
The Backflip, the first of five Android smartphones AT&T has promised to deliver in 2010, will retail for $99–after a $100 mail-in rebate and a commitment to two years of AT&T data and voice service. It will arrive at market in early March.
The move begins to bring AT&T (T) into parity with Verizon Wireless (VZ) and T-Mobile, which already offer Android handsets like Nexus One and Droid. For Motorola (MOT), it’s another chance to juice sales of its new Android phones, which, as Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar noted just yesterday, have been slowing.
“Motorola’s coming out party appears to be short lived as the success of Nexus One has impacted Motorola’s share at Verizon,” Kumar wrote in a note to clients. “Due to weaker sell through, we are beginning to set negative revisions to production targets. Refresh of the Android platform from HTC, LG, and Samsung will add to competitive pressures later on in the year.”