June 29, 2010 | by Chris Smith
AT&T has been known as the “anti-Android” carrier in the US by many Android fanboys and fangirls, mostly because of their tinkering with the stock Android operating system. When the first Android device landed on AT&T, the Motorola Backflip, we found out that AT&T and Moto had made the decision to replace all Google search with Yahoo search. Also, no Android phones have the ability to install “non-Market” applications. At least with the last one AT&T has a response on their Android FAQ page:
AT&T selected Android Market as the exclusive source for applications because it forces developers to be accountable for the apps they submit. If the Android community has issues with an app, the app can be flagged and removed. This minimizes the risk of malicious apps harming customers and provides more protection to the customer’s private data stored on the phone.
I was surprised when I read this. Not because I think it’s BS, but actually because it makes sense. Android users that are not really that geeky don’t care about installing applications from outside of the Market. The only Android users that do are the ones like me and you who want to be able to do whatever we want with our devices. In that case, the more savvy, AT&T Android users out there will either find a way to root the device, buy a Nexus One, or skip over to the biggest Android supporter, Verizon.
The beauty of Android is that it is open. Therefore, AT&T has the right to do what they will with the Android devices they sell and consumers have the right to go elsewhere if they don’t like it. Commentors, what are your thoughts?