Updated with a response from AT&T
AT&T (T - Get Report) cancelled plans to carry Google (GOOG - Get Report) Android-powered phones later this year, says MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen, who initiated coverage on Motorola with a sell rating Thursday.
Motorola hoped to convert some Microsoft (MOT) Windows Mobile phones to the Android operating system, but the devices were deemed too out of date for AT&T's tastes, according to sources close to the company and in the retail channel, says Kuittinen.AT&T declined to comment for this story, and Motorola was not immediately available for comment. With Motorola's mobile phone business hanging on the success of new Google Android phones, the company could have used a big telco like AT&T to push its phones at some of its 70 million customers. Phone chief Sanjay Jha, the architect of Motorola's bold Android strategy, told analysts on an earnings call last month that the company would have two Android phones available by the holidays and that it had signed on two telcos as partners. It is widely expected that Motorola will announce at a Sept. 10 conference that Deutsche Telekom's (DT) T-Mobile and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) are the two carriers, though there has been some confusion about Verizon's role, since the company has not been asked to participate in the event.