Update: Dell’s Android phone will have access to Google’s Android market after all, an AT&T rep tells us.
We’re not sure how Engadget goofed this one; perhaps they were using a phone without the final software version installed on it.
We’ll update this post if any more information becomes available.
Earlier: Dell’s first smartphone to sell in the U.S. — the Aero, coming someday to AT&T — has been stripped of some very important features, according to Engadget.
As Engadget points out, the Aero doesn’t ship with Google Maps, Gmail, or the Android Market. That’s right, no app store for this phone.
It’s hard to see the logic here. The growth area in mobile right now is mobile data, and apps are a popular feature on phones like Apple’s iPhone.
Plus, our understanding is that AT&T gets a percentage of paid app sales on Android phones (which it doesn’t from Apple). So we’re really confused as to why the Android Market isn’t available.
The phone will ship with some social networking apps, including Facebook, according to AT&T’s Web site. But the fact that users won’t have access to an app store for games and other apps is a non-starter. (Unless AT&T only wants to sell this phone for VERY cheap without a monthly data plan? Or only a very inexpensive plan?)
Here’s Engadget’s video of the device: