HTC has been a critical partner this past month in shaping AT&T’s future. First, the Inspire 4G was the company’s first venture into Froyo and the “4G” world and in essence marked the beginning of the post-iPhone-exclusivity era (PIE for short? I coined it!). And the HTC Freestyle also bagged some other firsts for AT&T: the first Brew MP-powered handset on the network, and the first phone that is more of a smartphone/Quick Messaging Phone hybrid that doesn’t require a data plan.
The Freestyle is just the beginning of a new strategy that AT&T has been developing as a way of transitioning all of its customers into smartphones. The premise is that it’s much easier for a customer to transition from a Freestyle to an Android device than it is for a customer to go from a basic phone like the Pantech Breeze. This sharp transition causes a dramatic increase in phone returns and a loss of customer interest in getting future smartphones. The idea is to introduce customers to budget-friendly devices that still look and feel like smartphones, but without all the extra functionality commonly found in them.
Brew MP is the featurephone OS that AT&T plans to stand behind, stating at CES 2011 that it expects to have 90% of its QMP lineup running this platform by year’s end. By creating an entire lineup of phones that run universally on Brew MP, developers will be much more inclined to build applications for these phones, making them more desirable. As it currently stands, most Quick Messaging Phones on AT&T are all powered by proprietary (and rather junky, might I add) OS platforms that simply don’t offer much selection in personalizing your phone.
The Freestyle is the beginning of a new generation, so join us as we unbox it and get some hands-on time with the OS. Watch our video below!
If you liked the post, you might find these interesting too:
- AT&T HTC Freestyle Hands-On at CES 2011
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- Brew-based Motorola EX300 touchscreen phone coming soon
- AT&T HTC Freestyle non-smartphone shows up unannounced
- AT&T announces five Android phones from HTC, Motorola and Dell