In an industry-first, AT&T issued a statement pledging to update all post-paid Android smartphones released in 2011 to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Motorola Atrix 4G owners will get a Gingerbgread update beginning today and HTC Inspire 4G users will get it “in the coming weeks”, AT&T confirms. As for the Atrix, Gingerbread will enable the ability to download applications from third-party stores. Other smartphones in AT&T’s lineup pinned for Gingerbread include LG’s Phoenix, Pantech’s Crossover and Samsung’s Captivate 4G and Infuse 4G.

Delivery method will vary by device, the carrier said. That AT&T is taking updating Android phones seriously is a welcome sign for consumers and the Android ecosystem at large, often criticized for platform fragmentation. Google said at their annual developer conference in May that they will be tackling fragmentation woes by imposing strict requirements on their carrier and handset partners. Upgrade details are right below the fold. expand full story