AT&T Reveals 4G, Android Roadmap

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- As it prepares to lose its exclusive deal to carry Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone, AT&T ( T) laid out a robust product roadmap at CES Wednesday, announcing plans to launch 20 4G devices and more than a dozen Google ( GOOG) Android phones by the end of the year.

AT&T will launch two 4G Android smartphones during the first quarter, the Motorola ( MMI) Atrix 4G (pictured below) and HTC's Inspire 4G; Samsung's Infuse will hit shelves during the second quarter.

Ralph De La Vega, CEO of AT&T's Mobility business, touted the Motorola Atrix 4G as "the world's most powerful smartphone" during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, citing its dual-core Nvidia ( NVDA) 1-GHz processor.

AT&T's jump to the Android bandwagon isn't a big surprise, given the widely-anticipated arrival of the iPhone at the nation's No. 1 wireless shop, Verizon ( VZ), which will reportedly happen early this year. Google's OS, in second place behind Apple's iOS in terms of smartphone market share, continues to gain momentum. A recent Nielsen report said that over the past six months, 40% of consumers buying smartphones bought Androids.

De La Vega was quizzed by CNBC on the end of AT&T's exclusive deal with Apple, but didn't provide any details. "I don't know when and if that is going to happen," he said.

AT&T has been playing catch-up to Sprint ( S) and Verizon in the 4G space. Verizon rolled out its first 4G LTE network last month; Sprint already offers its 4G WiMax service in 71 U.S. markets.

Nonetheless, AT&T used its CES press event to announce plans to accelerate the build-out of its LTE network, which it says will launch by midyear and be complete by the end of 2013.

AT&T shares rose 10 cents, or 0.33%, to close at $29.98 on Wednesday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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