AT&T may finally see its first Android phone, if some newly published rumors are to be believed. Dell is currently working with the carrier on launching a new Android-powered device, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal and other publications. If true, it would be AT&T’s first venture into Android territory, making it the last of the big four U.S. providers to adopt the platform.
Dell’s Android phone would supposedly be keypad-free, using only a touchscreen for navigation, and would feature a “tiny camera” — but hey, size isn’t everything. No other details are provided, aside from the fact that the device would be somewhat similar to a Dell phone introduced in China this past summer.
That phone, some tech blogs allege, is the Dell Mini 3i — a touchscreen device shown off at an event in August. The version that would come to the U.S., however, is said to be upgraded with “some different features.”
In the big picture, an AT&T Android phone could play right into analysts’ expectations. A projection released by Gartner this week predicts Android will shoot ahead of the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile by the year 2012. The pundits believe Google’s mobile OS will command a full 14 percent of the global smartphone market by then — seven times its current level — making it the second most used phone system in the world. Other firms have echoed Gartner’s sentiments that an all-out Android explosion is just waiting to occur.