Who said that the Consumer Electronics Show was just meant to be a showcase for technology and consumer electronics companies? One of this week's biggest presentations came from none other than dowdy old AT&T
AT&T clearly meant for its presentation to be a feel-good event showing its commitment to consumer choice. But for me, at least, it raised more questions than it answered. The biggest ones are:
Is AT&T trying to reduce its iPhone dependence? Going into the week, there was no shortage of rumors about a CDMA version of Apple's
Is the unnamed HTC Android phone mentioned by AT&T the Nexus One? Google's "superphone" is manufactured by HTC, and it looks like Google is trying to get it on as many networks as possible. So it wouldn't surprise me if the country's second-biggest carrier has been added to the partner list.
Should Research In Motion
Can AT&T's network handle seven more smartphones? As you might've heard, the iPhone's success has put quite the stress on AT&T's wireless infrastructure. Whether or not AT&T's service is as inadequate as public perception, adding a slew of new devices that can also stream video and browse HTML Web pages isn't going to help matters. In the short term, AT&T's obvious response is to increase its capital spending to make the quality of its 3G service respectable. Over the long run, though, the answer might be to accelerate its investment plans for 4G, which will deliver some major capacity gains. If capacity-constrained carriers start looking to 4G for relief, it could provide a boost to wireless infrastructure giants such as Ericsson and Nokia Siemens.
How successful will all these Android manufacturers be in differentiating themselves? This could end up being a serious, overlooked issue. Sure, the Motorola
The wireless industry has never been short of business intrigue. And it looks to me as if AT&T just added some more fuel to the fire.
Fool contributor Eric Jhonsa has no position in any of the companies mentioned. Microsoft and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Rule Breakers selection and Apple is a Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options recommends a diagonal call on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy keeps you covered.