By Stephen Schenck | May 5, 2011 7:11 PM
Android users have been waiting for AT&T to change its ways about sideloading apps since the company first started carrying Android smartphones. In the beginning, the carrier maintained it was just looking out for its customers’ best interests, like it or not. With the introduction of Amazon’s Appstore as a legitimate alternative to the Android Market, though, renewed pressure to stop treating Android owners like babies and let them decide for themselves how to use their phones led to AT&T announcing it would look into how to give its customers access to Amazon’s store. There’s been a signup page to get more info, but the company hasn’t released any follow-up statements, leading us to wonder how this change would be implemented. Would AT&T approve each new app store that appeared, or would it cut loose and enable users to install whatever they wanted? It seems the latter may be the case, as at least one Infuse 4G owner (and a Samsung employee, to boot) reports his phone includes the option to install apps from unknown sources.
We’ll want to wait for AT&T to make a statement or until Infuse 4G sales start on May 15 to say for sure, but this was apparently found with a retail-box Infuse 4G, just like you’ll be able to buy in a couple weeks. If this is the precedent AT&T has chosen to set for its future Android release, then this is great news for AT&T customers; no more having to use apps to circumvent the sideloading block!