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Dell is preparing to launch a Googlephone on AT&T's iPhone-happy US wireless network.

According to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, the PC seller could introduce its Android-based phone as soon as early next year. This would give Google's open source mobile OS a foothold on all four major US wireless networks. Earlier this week, Google and Verizon Wireless announced a partnership around Android phones, following Googlephone landings on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.

Dell's Android plan would also put Googly devices on the same US carrier as Apple's iPhone. At the moment, the Jobsian status symbol is exclusively tied to AT&T's (rather overloaded) network.

A Dell Android would also be the PC manufacturer's first foray into the US handset market. The company showed off a handset prototype in China this summer, and according to The Journal's sources, the Android phone is a similar device, offering a touchscreen and a camera.

The Journal also says that Dell is in discussions with other US carriers about the new phone, including T-Mobile. The Deutsche Telekom-owned outfit was the first to offer an Android device, when it introduced the HTC G1 last fall.

In August, Dell said it would produce phones for China Mobile Ltd, China's largest cellular carrier. ®

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