AT&T Doesn’t Need an iPhone Killer, But Why Mess Up the Motorola Backflip (Android)?

Here’s a puzzling piece of news from Engadget…

Motorola Backflip doesn’t allow non-Market apps, proves AT&T doesn’t get Android

AT&T’s first Android smartphone is the Motorola Backflip. Now, this isn’t the first Android phone from Motorola. In fact, their Droid was very well received after Verizon’s huge marketing campaign for it late last year. And, it still appears to be a flagship Android product even today. So, why is the Motorola Backflip looking like such an odd duck? Three letters might help explain this: AT&T.

This, of course, is the same carrier that couldn’t figure out how to provide MMS messaging for the iPhone until the iPhone 3GS was released. And, they apparently still can’t provide iPhone tethering service even though other carriers have found a way to do so. So, it appears that the only U.S. wireless carrier that does NOT need an iPhone-killer is apparently doing nasty things to Android instead…

– Replace Google search with Yahoo! search. And, isn’t Yahoo! search really Microsoft Bing under the covers?
– Lock app availability to the Android Market (just like the iPhone is locked to iTunes)

What’s next? Remove WiFi? Blur the camera?