Thursday, January 7, 2010

CES 2010: AT&T Getting Android and WebOS Smartphones

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One of the early announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show is bound to reverberate in Western Canada.  AT&T has announced seven new smartphones running Google's Android and Palm's Web OS.  Undoubtely each of the Android models will find a home with a carrier on this side of the 49th parallel. AT&T picking up Palm's WebOS phones that will have the most impact in Western Canada.  Palm's WebOS exclusivity agreement with Bell have excludes regional carriers MTS and Sasktel from offering the Palm Pre.

Since the majority of AT&T's phone lineup ends up on Rogers, getting  GSM versions of the Pre and Pixi, then it will allow Rogers to offer the Pixi at first and then the Pre will be available when the exclusivity agreement with Bell expires.  For Bell, who is in the process of making a switch over from CDMA to GSM, will most likely switch to the GSM version of the Pre that they will offer to new subscribers.  Getting Palm WebOS is a win for Rogers but is also a win for subscribers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan who have not had access to the Palm Pre yet.  That's why carrier exclusivity agreements end up hurting consumers and need to come to a mandated end.

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