That little green robot has got some guts. We've just heard the news that Android is going to be coming after the iPhone right on its own turf. The new Android-loaded HTC Lancaster is going to be sold exclusively by AT&T for six months starting August 3rd.
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Of course, that date is still a little up in the air. AT&T doesn't want the pure Android OS, they want a hybrid Android/AT&T OS. We've heard no rumors yet of what changes the communications giant wants to make to the Lancaster's operating system. More than likely AT&T just wants to tweak things enough that they can claim a version of Android that is "theirs".
This sounds like a terrible idea to me. There aren't any gaping holes in upcoming versions of Android that need AT&T's 'expert' hands to fix. The fact that AT&T is considering delaying the Lancaster's launch date to make these (most likely) frivolous changes is bad news to anyone who was looking forward to enjoying Android with a brand-new carrier.
Outside of that worrying issue, the HTC Lancaster looks great. It's a G1-like slider with more rounded edges and a somewhat smaller-looking keyboard. Judging by the image we have right now, the Lancaster will feature a full QWERTY keyboard but no number row at the top. It's also got a 3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, a microSD expansion, and a 2.8 inch display.
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The Lancaster looks like a sturdy little phone, and its specs make it a solid, middle-of-the-line Smartphone. I doubt it will take any business away from the HTC Magic, but it could end up pulling away some potential G1.2 customers. The Lancaster certainly isn't going to be an iPhone killer, but if AT&T doesn't screw up the OS too much it should be a good budget Android phone.