Verizon iPhone announcement pits heavy hitters against each other


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With the announcement of the iPhone 4 for Verizon's network, consumers will now have a chance to choose between Apple 's ( AAPL ) iconic product and some of the most advanced technology running on the Google ( GOOG ) Android platform.

This will be the true heavyweight championship. On AT&T ( T ), the selection of Android phones has in the past fallen short of the spread available on Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint ( S ). 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 key area.

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business , Technology , US Markets
Referenced Stocks: AAPL , GOOG , S , T

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