I wouldn’t be surprised if after the devastating loss of iPhone exclusivity AT&T didn’t feel a little like the nerdy kid at the dance who just had his surprisingly good looking date stolen away by the handsome quarterback, his hurt masked by his anger and need for some sort of quirky vengeance scheme.
Once considered AT&T’s unquestioned flagship, the fact that Verizon, and probably T-Mobile or Sprint in the near future, now has the iPhone means that if AT&T wants to continue to attract customers to its shoddy network, it needs a plan. But not just any scheme will do to overcome the anger and suspicion towards AT&T held by many current and prospective customers; to win back the hearts and minds of the people AT&T needs something great…it needs the Motorola Atrix.
Yesterday AT&T announced the release of the new Motorola Atrix smartphone, a powerful dual-core Android device that is officially AT&T’s first 4G offering, which means that every major US carrier has now finally entered the 4G race. But with years of depending on the iPhone to sell itself, will AT&T even know how to successfully market such a high profile device?
Like a jilted lover, with the loss of iPhone exclusivity, it was inevitably only a matter of time before AT&T turned its attention to Apple’s chief rival, Android, in hopes of securing a new flagship phone for its mobile fleet. That being said, with the Motorola Atrix it looks like AT&T has found a worthy candidate.
Featuring a powerful dual-core processor and a whopping 1GB of ultra-fast RAM, the Atrix’ specs put it at the forefront of the next generation of smartphone offerings, although I doubt it will retain that spot for very long. What makes the Atrix unique, however, is its ability to transform into a powerful yet extremely portable laptop via the special Atrix laptop dock.
Essentially a screen and a keyboard, the laptop dock looks just like a regular laptop, minus any substantial bulk or weight. The reason it’s so light is simple, it has no CPU or other peripherals. By plugging in the Atrix to the laptop dock, the smartphone essentially becomes the laptop’s motherboard, giving users an advertised six (6) hours of continuous connectivity. This allows users to have a smartphone while on the go and a more user friendly laptop when they need to hunker down and get some real work done.
But of course with any unique feature, you’ll have to pay if you want to utilize it. Purchased as a bundle, the smartphone and dock will set you back $500 USD after a mail-in rebate, which puts its roughly on par with the lower end netbooks. Add to that, of course, AT&T’s regular data plan fees plus an additional $20 per month for tethering and suddenly the best feature of the Atrix doesn’t look so attractive anymore, especially since it doesn’t even perform as well as a lower end netbook.
That aside, however, the Atrix is still an industry leading phone, one that Motorola and AT&T hope will challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPhone, for no other reason than having a successful Android phone in its line-up will help assuage the sting of AT&T losing iPhone exclusivity.