Hey, you. Over there banging away on your laptop in outrage. Need to let you in on a little secret. The Dell Aero isn't crippled. Neither is the Motorola Backflip. And you need to stop saying they are.
No, we don't agree with AT&T's decision to not allow unsigned apps on the Backflip and, according to Phone News, the Dell Aero, which isn't even out yet. We'd much prefer the carriers follow in Android's spirit of openness. But you know what? It's AT&T's decision not to.
So before you start an online petition, before you even think -- let alone type -- the word class-action lawsuit, and before you hop on Twitter to rail against The Man, answer these questions: Were you being forced to buy either of these phones? Sure, they're the only Android fare AT&T has to offer, and that sucks. But neither of these phones is crippled. (At least not the Backflip -- we haven't seen the Dell actually turned on yet.) They do e-mail. They have a Web browser. They purchase, download and install apps from the Android Market just fine -- just like every other Android phone.
What they don't do is run apps outside of the Market. That's AT&T's decision, and that's just not that big a deal for the vast population of Android users. So think about this before you declare it DOA, especially before you even get a chance to use it.