June 16, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Shocking news! AT&T’s CEO is not big on Android. CEO Randall Stephenson spoke with a group of Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswire reporters and dropped a bombshell on everyone: he’s not worried about the competition’s adoption of Android, but he’s watchful of Google.
If your sarcasm meter isn’t broken, you know that this isn’t very surprising. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, has been cool on Android since February of 2009. AT&T delivering lackluster phones has even led some people to believe that the company is purposely going easy on Android to not upset the cash cow that is Apple’s iPhone. I disagree with that notion, but it’s a popular sentiment among mobile conspiracy theorists.
Though Stephenson told the WSJ that his company has issues with Google, AT&T could release another Android phone after the HTC Aria. He also expects to see Android tablets and “radical” changes in the next 6 months. Popularity for Google’s OS continues to grow and as AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity looks to be nearing its completion, it will be important for the company to not be left behind. Stephenson “doesn’t lose sleep” about Verizon’s growing Android options and feels his company still leads the smartphone race.
The Journal also suggests that tension regarding Net Neutrality – Google in favor, AT&T opposed – contributes to the tension. Whatever the reason, the two companies are acquaintances rather than friends. Maybe the cause is Stephens dislike that “Google insists on having its search engine prominent on the device, which contradicts its claims of an open-source platform.”
That’s funny. Maybe I should do a Yahoo! search on a Backflip to get more information on the issue.