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AT&T Is Pitching a Single Smartphone Platform

Article Comments  54  

Dec 5, 2008, 8:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T Mobility said that it is hoping to consolidate the diverse number of smartphone platforms, such as Windows Mobile, Symbian, and others, to a single platform on AT&T-branded smartphones within the next few years. The move is intended to help reduce number of systems its support personnel will need to understand, as well as help it focus on application development for a single platform rather than many. The AT&T representative who made the remarks suggested that Symbian is the best candidate to be its smartphone platform of choice. The consolidation does not mean AT&T would get rid of the iPhone, which it considers to be a third-party platform that is supported by Apple. AT&T hopes to complete the platform consolidation by 2014.

Yahoo News / PCWorld »




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This forum is closed.


Dec 5, 2008, 4:28 PM

With some clarification, it's an even *BETTER* idea

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2008/12/05/att-wants- ... »

See the Update part - the OS restriction won't apply to business phones or phones that are based around an operating system already. So it will be some kind of tiered system:

- dumbphones/smartphones running Symbian (probably with some option to have either a simple UI for phone neophytes; or a more standard, customizable version of Symbian)

- above that would be the iPhone, Blackberries, and Windows Mobile business/superphones/umpcs. (Does anyone honestly think Palm will be a competitor in 6 years? Or even still in business?)

Keep in mind that they're moving to Symbian; *NOT* a proprietary, locked OS. Will there be c...
Personally I haTe how much all carriers interfere with handsets. That's why I buy unlocked/unbranded, so I can be assure the handset I have is -- 100% -- UNTOUCED by AT&T, straight from Nokia to me.
I admire your intelligence but I am not buying into this pitch by ATT. Our company highly recommends to itself and supports the use of WinMo for our choice of business. Despite the obvious quirks, it has proven to be indispensible in the productivity ...

Dec 5, 2008, 8:52 AM

haha, and you talk about Verizon's "Commie UI"

atleast that UI is on dumb phones, taking your best phones and forcing them to all have one OS is going to piss some people off. we will see how this plays
Exactly! This will piss off alot of people. Every damn smartphone will have the same UI and similar features. 🤣

Dec 5, 2008, 5:00 PM

Well if we get stuff like the N97, heck yeah!

If symbian means we get phones like the N97, I'm all for it!!

I also think no matter what, AT&T will keep Blackberrys.
I have ZERO faith that AT&T will get a handset as powerful/advanced, and jamm packed with features as the almighty N97. And if they did all they're stupid testing will push the handsets launch to Q1 2010.

I'm not waiting til Q1 2010 to get this be...

Dec 5, 2008, 9:21 AM

There is no way!

I cannot believe this. There is no way this will work. Is AT&T going to give up Blackberries? Do they expect HTC and Samsung to support Windows Mobile for every other carrier but Symbian for AT&T? Perhaps they should outsource their tech support to the manufacturers?
to all of their customers whom currently have a blackberry or treo for example? Since AT&T are only going to be training there people on Symbian who is going to help the others? 😕
Is this cause to break contract without penalty?

Dec 6, 2008, 12:49 AM

It Doesn't Matter...

because every carrier except Sprint will be running LTE. All one has to do is buy an unlocked Blackberry Quasar from Verizon and run it on AT&T's network. Of course, when it goes down and needs troubleshooting one will likely have to call RIM and pay. Currently, if the carrier does not call RIM and conference the customer in then the customer has to pay. I can't see Verizon or T-Mobile working with a device that is not active on their network.

Dec 5, 2008, 10:27 AM

dumbest idea ever!!!!!


I'd expect this from verizon, but ATT seemed just a bit smarter. DUMBEST IDEA EVER!
If you think it is a dumb idea, then you obviously have no idea how to run a profitable business. This will help cut down costs. It will provide more indepth knowledge of the specific devices for us the consumer. Id bet dollars to say this move will h...

Dec 5, 2008, 9:31 AM

If AT&T wants a single platform,

Then why don't they JUST carry Blackberries for their smartphone lineup? I am sure RIM would be more than happy to manufacture a diverse lineup for them. Why do they have to go to great lengths to piss people off? Geez, I'd almost label them Verizon!
because not everyone wants to use a blackberry. that's how blackberry actually has become so populalr. not everyone wants window on their phone, so they go to blackberries

Dec 5, 2008, 8:06 PM

Hmm...there's been an update to this from AT&T.

Hmm do you all interpret this updated comment?

http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/12/05/atandt-drea ... »

Dec 5, 2008, 9:28 AM

Bad move.

Very bad move. AT&T will lose a lot of good smartphones this way. They will end up only selling "AT&T Smartphones." Say goodbye to the Blackberries, Moto Qs, Samsung Blackjacks, Palm Treos, etc, etc.
Or sell just Iphones!

I agree. This is absurd.

Just yesterday I pitched an idea to Rich and Phone Scoop. This would fit in perfectly!
I don't see it as a bad move. You can have an S60 OS on your devices and a user-selectable interface running on top of it.
Wireless Buddy

Dec 5, 2008, 3:55 PM

Is AT&T ****ing insane?

I'm speechless. One thing for sure is that if I was even considering AT&T before, I'm sure as hell never getting their service now, even if they decide not to do this, they are stupid to even think they can/should.

Seriously.. get rid of all other PDA platforms and rebrand Symbian to AT&T PDA OS? WOW. 😳

Dec 5, 2008, 11:18 AM

Here's why it's a good- no, *GREAT* idea

When they say "smartphones" here, I'm guessing they're not referring to enterprise devices, which have specific development platforms intimately intertwined with their core functionality (ie - corporate email & app support). Windows Mobile isn't going away anytime soon, and it's very unlikely Blackberry is either.

Rather, what I'm guessing is that there's going to be a move to make *all* phones "smartphones". It's not unlike Verizon's uniform UI - all phones will have the same software platform. Think about this: the Samsung Propel, Eternity & Access; the Pantech Slate & Matrix; the LG VU; the Quickfire. These are all phones that require more of a complicated software stack, but it's still buried in a proprietary UI. In fact, with th...
Well maybe they should standardize their dumbphone lineup but they should leave the smartphones alone. I do not see why they cannot just departmentalize Blackberry OS, WinMo, and Symbian.

Dec 5, 2008, 12:23 PM

Lets take a deep breath

Do you guys really think that a giant like ATT would make this kind of decision with out talking to phone manufacturers? I bet dollars to donuts that some if not all the big phone makers have a least some what signed off on this.

From a business stand point, I think it makes a lot of sense. You cut down cost on development, as well as training on the platform. You can provide better customer support and technical support by only having one platform. Better CS and TS will lead to happier customers, which in turn leads to higher profit. I'm sure there are other reasons for doing this but money I'm sure is the big factor.

From the customer stand point, this looks like we will be getting the shaft. Only one platform. No more WinMo or Bla...
haley72 said:
Do you guys really think that a giant like ATT would make this kind of decision with out talking to phone manufacturers? I bet dollars to donuts that some if not all the big phone makers have a least some what signed

Dec 5, 2008, 10:35 AM

Atleast ATT is a GSM network....

...where we can bring in our own devices.
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