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Verizon takes credit for making Android popular

updated 01:10 pm EST, Wed December 1, 2010

Verizon on Android popularity, phone 'by' mid-2011

Verizon as part of its 4G launch claimed itself directly responsible for the popularity of Android and also clarified its device plans. Google's mobile OS "took off" when it launched on Verizon with the Motorola Droid, the carrier said, and 4G was likely to do the same this Sunday when the LTE network when live. Both Android and 4G were on T-Mobile and Sprint earlier, it implied, but didn't catch on.

The claims are at least partly accurate. The original Droid has consistently been the most popular Android phone in the world when tracked by mobile ad providers such as Millennial. It was a consistent strong seller and was facing periodic shortages even shortly before it was discontinued in favor of devices like the Droid 2 and Droid X. T-Mobile's G1 launched a year earlier, but Android trailed well behind the BlackBerry and iPhone platforms both in the US and worldwide until then.

Verizon is still the largest single carrier for Android and has led critics to accuse it of compromising its "don't do evil" principle for the sake of propping up its main cellular partner. It suggested exempting wireless from neutrality rules to please Verizon despite years of insisting that all network types had to treat traffic fairly.

The importance could underscore a potential vulnerability in Android. Analysts have suggested that Verizon iPhones could be more successful than at AT&T if announced as expected early next year. Apple wouldn't directly supplant Google at Verizon but could detract from Android sales by catching those customers who had really wanted an iPhone but refused to switch to AT&T.

Along with the commentary on platforms, Verizon clarified its smartphone plans and said that LTE phones would arrive "by" mid-2011, leaving room for releases earlier in the year. One of these should be the Incredible HD, but other HTC phones and possible models from Motorola, RIM and others could likewise appear.

Officials further hinted that tablets would play a major role in its 4G rollout. The high bandwidth and low lag lent themselves very well to video based apps, so users should "keep that in mind," it said. Possible candidates could involve an upgraded version of the MotoPad as well as an upgraded BlackBerry PlayBook. The iPad may get a 4G upgrade as Apple has been drawn in, although this wouldn't happen until the next iPad revision at this stage.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In their dreams

    Predatory a*******!

  1. azrich

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, YEAH, but..

    Were they not giving out some heavy discounts, if not BOGO deals with the droids?

    Just imagine what they could have done with the iPhone.

    At least they aren't making ridiculous claims like, I dunno, owning the rights to the sun or something.


  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should take credit

    for making Android the #1 smartphone platform on the planet.

    Just saying.

  1. daqman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mileage may vary but...

    I've always found Verizon to be lousy at customer service and lacking in truth or accuracy about how much something is going to cost. I eventually ditched them when I couldn't take it any more but even then got screwed.

    I had three phones on a family plan. I waited until the family plan expired to try to avoid an early termination penalty. They told me that since the plan on MY phone had expired I didn't need to pay but that my wife's phone had six months left and my son's eleven months so I'd have to pay a fee for each of them or leave them with Verizon until they expired. The catch there was that they would no longer be on a family plan so it would cost more per month for those two phones than I was paying for three phones on the family plan. Of course I could convert my wife's phone to a family plan to lower the monthly charge but that would reset the plan expiration counter back to two years. So I was screwed whatever I did.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Save haven until 2011

    Verizon is Android's safe haven until the CDMA iPhone is released. The one carrier where Android phones don't compete directly against iPhone. A Verizon iPhone will trigger the inevitable race to the bottom for all the running dog Android handset makers. Just-good-enough commodities all suffer the same fate (e.g. Windows pee cees.)

    They will be trying to push each other off the low-price cliff, and ultimately VZ will be forced to give away Android phones. BOGO will seem like a ripoff.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if not them, who?

    If it wasn't Verizon, then who was responsible? Because without a carrier, the platform is meaningless.

  1. sgirard

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Verizon iPhone

    When? Hopefully soon. Maybe that will slow Android down a little.

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