Jeff Bradley, AT&T's Senior Vice President of Mobile Devices explained the initial reluctance to allow third-party apps when he said, "I think we’ll go more open. First and foremost we were genuinely concerned from a network bandwidth standpoint and a customer experience standpoint for not having any mechanism to take down a bad app. And the only way we could do it at the time was relying on Google to leverage what [security] they had in [the] Android Marketplace. We took a lot of negative publicity for doing it, but it was 100 percent driven by a desire to be able to have the ability to support our network and be able to help our customers. It really was."
We're not sure how many phone buyers opted for a handset elsewhere because of the third party app ban. But now that the ban has been lifted, it can only be good news for AT&T customers although many will have to wait for their next Android phone to take advantage of AT&T's change in thinking.