With the announcement of the iPhone 4 for Verizon's network,
consumers will now have a chance to choose between
) iconic product and some of the most advanced technology running
on the Google (
) Android platform.
This will be the true heavyweight championship. On AT&T (
), the selection of Android phones has in the past fallen short of
the spread available on Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint (
). Google has made a concerted effort to fight Apple on its home
turf during the duration of the exclusive agreement, but the real
stars of the Android lineup have been the Motorola (MOT) Droid
series, only available on Verizon, and the Nexus series, which have
been mostly limited to T-Mobile.
Verizon is generally considered to have the largest and most robust
network in the United States, as it regularly boasts in ads
featuring maps comparing its 3G coverage to AT&T's. It also has
the largest subscriber base at over 93 million - which means
millions of potential new customers for Apple.
Estimates vary, but most believe that between 9 and 16 million of
those customers will move to the iPhone platform, which could
provide a robust jump in Apple's total market share. Google won't
take that lying down, though - and it may have an advantage in one
The cutting edge of cell-phones is now 4G technology (a concept
which remains nebulous and poorly defined). The iPhone 4 - despite
its moniker - will not be equipped to use Verizon's upcoming LTE
network upgrade, and will remain at 3G speeds on the company's
conventional CDMA network.
On the other hand, the Droid Bionic, HTC Thunderbolt, LG Revolution
and Samsung SCH-I510 will all be available on the same network, and
will be able to take advantage of those faster speeds. Because
Android is freely available, it will always be loaded onto the
newest and most advanced phones, and it may become the early
adopter system of choice.