We know that AT&T will get its first Google Android handsets this year, and now we might have an idea when the first model will come. Android blog Phandroid is reporting this afternoon that the Motorola Backflip is slated for a March 7 launch.
According to a source, the smartphone will cost $324 before any carrier subsidy. That's considerably less than the unsubsidized price for any other Android phone and a fraction of the $530 being asked for Google's Nexus One.
It wouldn't surprise me to see this handset priced around $100 with a two-year service agreement. It's worth noting that the the most substantial rumors surrounding the Backflip came from Phandroid back in December, so we're pretty confident their sources are accurate.
Neither AT&T nor Motorola have specifically given a release date for the handset, but it's widely assumed to be a done deal. Both companies made announcements at CES independent of each other, which seemingly connect the two.
AT&T revealed at its annual Developer Summit last week that the carrier will have five Android handsets in the first half of 2010. The press release indicates one of them is from Motorola and has a unique design. Then, a day later, Motorola unveiled the Backflip at CES.
AT&T must be expecting big sales of the Backflip. A tweet last week from Eldar Murtzin of Mobile-review claimed the carrier already has ordered 400,000 Backflips, with more potentially on the way. With the right subsidized price, AT&T could blow through these handsets rather quickly. Will the company's network be able to handle the heavy data use of Android users?