Okay, so we fully understand that it would make life a lot easier on AT&T if every smartphone on its network used the same operating system, but we're not so sure we like the idea of losing the whole "ability to choose." Speaking at the Symbian Partner Event in San Francisco, AT&T's Roger Smith (director of next generation services, data product realization at AT&T) reportedly stated that he wanted to "standardize on a single operating system for AT&T-branded smartphones as part of a dramatic consolidation of its mobile platforms over the next few years." Given the location of the speech, it's no shock that Symbian was named "a very credible and likely candidate" to be that system, and for those questioning the iPhone, he was quick to point out that said mobile is simply a third-party device tapping into AT&T's technologies. Honestly, we're not sure how to take this seriously -- is he really saying he's willing to alienate RIM and / or Microsoft in order to only sell Symbian-based handsets? Doubtful.
Update: An AT&T spokesman pinged up with an important followup to this -- click on to read the whole thing.
"We have no plans to standardize on one platform for our smart devices.
We want to give our wireless customers maximum choice – in innovative devices, applications, operating systems, and more. One way to maximize customer choice is to begin to reduce fragmentation in the wireless OS environment. That is why we are a member of the Symbian Foundation.
That fragmentation puts a heavy burden on wireless carriers, handset makers, and especially apps developers, who have to create for multiple operating systems and sometimes for multiple versions of the same operating system."