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Verizon moving to iPhone due to cooling Android, BlackBerry?

updated 09:15 am EST, Mon December 6, 2010

Verizon iPhone said helped by slow Android, BB6

Verizon's CDMA iPhone may be coming about because of a loss of favor for BlackBerry and likely Android, Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu said in an investment note today. Sources told Wu that Verizon doesn't think the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 6 devices on its network will have a "material impact" on its sales, ruling it out as a savior. The researcher also believed that even Android was leading to a change of heart as its growth has lagged AT&T despite multiple high-profile devices from HTC and Motorola, giving Apple a larger bargaining chip.

The purported insiders also mentioned that Verizon considered the iPhone so important that it was hoping to prevent the iPhone from going to any additional carriers beyond itself and AT&T. No deal was known to be in place, but it might pay for a pseudo-exclusive that would prevent Sprint, T-Mobile and other smaller carriers from getting the iPhone for a set period. Apple might be willing to accept such a deal since the combined carriers would represent about two thirds of all US cellular users.

Unnamed sources also said said the cost of the phone and other carrier terms would be "favorable" and close enough to AT&T that they would be non-factors. The current preference for Android at Verizon and the higher prices of Qualcomm's CDMA chipsets may have triggered price concerns.

Spreading the iPhone to Verizon is expected to have a significant impact on Apple's iPhone sales in the US. The one extra carrier could add two to three million iPhone shipments each quarter in 2011 after factoring in some converts from AT&T, Wu estimated. By comparison, AT&T activated 5.2 million iPhones this summer and could still be the largest iPhone provider in the US, but the results could give Apple considerably more sway in the US and dampen Android's effect.

Regardless of accuracy, the Kaufman Bros report if close to reality could represent a turning point for both Apple and Android. The extension to Verizon is widely believed to reflect Apple's determination to stifle Google's rapid but slightly slowing growth as well as to challenge RIM's doubts on how the iPhone will fare. Google is now nearly even with Apple in US market share but has in part been counting on Verizon as a shelter, since the iPhone's AT&T exclusivity has led to Verizon devoting its full marketing attention to Android. Many customers have also bought an Android phone primarily after refusing to switch to AT&T or having no choice.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. asciidan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad for business

    Though initially a Verizon iPhone would be good for Verizon -- and perhaps Verizon customers who've long wanted iPhones -- in the long term, it would be a terrible move for the mobile industry, likely stifling innovation.

    Apple continuously upgrades iPhone features to stay ahead of the pack. But if it controls too much of the market, new features from other devices would be lost in the din of those clamoring for iPhones. BlackBerry and Android phones will continue to improve their products, but they're already struggling for mindshare. A Verizon iPhone makes that all the worse.

    This is already happening, just in the microcosm of AT&T. I own and am extremely happy with my BlackBerry Torch. I think it's an awesome device, and I find myself struggling to find uses for my iPod Touch these days. But the iPhone so dominates mindshare that the Torch isn't given a fair shake, even at AT&T stores where it's sold. The Apple hype machine will continue to bury the innovations of others and, ultimately, lead to stagnation in the mobile space.

    Verizon has done a nice job recently of offering solid Android options, and RIM has really stepped up with OS6. I'd love to see Verizon put a full-court press against the iPhone and create some real competition. The growth in mobile capabilities would be incredible. We've already seen it happening. I'd hate to see it halted now.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bad for business?

    You say that apple continuously upgrades their features to stay ahead of the pack and yet claim that the iPhone stifles innovation? Make up your mind, dude. If it wasn't for the iPhone, there wouldn't be a Torch. How about that?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. xmlaroux

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think you understand what is really driving the bus here. Verizon is not competing with Apple, Google/Motorola/HTC/Samsung are creating the solid Android options, Verizon is marketing its network to run those devices on in comparison with ATT/Sprint.

    Apple continuously upgrades iPhone features? If you mean once a year is continuous... the Android platform has a 2-3 new devices every 3 months that all match and beat the iPhone on speed, features, and ability. So, it is not like iPhone is innovative anymore.

    Yes, iPhone is a very rock solid device, still more stable that Android. I have both a Droid1 and 3 IOS 4.2.x devices. I have to run Ultimate Droid OS to get the stability that I really want from Android. However, the creativeness in Android outweigh the stability of IOS. I can really do anything i want with Android, not what Apple wants me to want.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Verizon sucks

    Because of their predatory business practices, I won't give 'em a dollar.

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "speed, features, and ability"

    Features and ability are the same thing. And just jamming extra features into a device is not exactly innovation. Speed is relative in getting to do "what you want". Things like Flash will slow you way down.

    And the fact remains that those actually taking advantage of Androids "openness" are a fraction of the smartphone market. As are the number of iPhone users who wish they were free to have a different experience than they paid for. Go ahead and jailbreak it and you can do what you want. Android can thank the majority of it's growth, not on so-called innovation or "openness" but on price.

    You really should look up the definition of the words innovation and creativity. Neither word applies to any great degree to Android. It's a decent OS but Google like Microsoft before them will be looking to Apple for real innovation and then trying to add something here or there to compete. But hey, it's "open", so it's got that going for it, oh yeah and marketshare.

    Apple only has profits, usability and, oh yeah, true innovation.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How many consumers are idiotic enough to

    to be jailbreaking their smartphones. Most of the people I know just use stock Android or iPhone handsets. They don't know anything about customizing their smartphones beyond downloading an app or two. They don't know anything about "open" or "closed" platforms or about Steve Jobs controlling them. The Android and iPhone fanboi nincompoops are going on and on about things that don't even matter to most consumers. Most consumers just want a product that works out of the box and doesn't give them any problems even if they have to pay a bit more. Most don't even know there's a war going on between iPhone and Android fanbois and certainly couldn't care less who's winning. To the average consumer a smartphone is just a tool they use to get on with their daily lives. The smartphone war is as stupid as having a war between two refrigerator appliance companies. When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is which company satisfies consumers the most and who makes the most money from doing it.

  1. studentrights

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You said it...

    Apple has all the profits (check)
    Apple has 43% of all handset profits world-wide that includes smart-phones, feature and dumb phones.

    Apple has all the innovation (check)
    Apple releases the iPod - everyone caught tripping and falling over each other to copy. Apple releases the iPhone - everyone caught tripping and falling over each other to copy. Apple releases the iPad - everyone caught tripping and falling over each other to copy.

    Apple has all usability (check)
    If you had any doubts, the first Android prototypes were clones of the BlackBerry until the iPhone came along.

    The prototype is from February, 2008, eight months after the original iPhone became available.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shaw Wu.

    If there was such a term as a tech foamer, he would be one.

    People stay with verizon because of who they text, nothing else.

    Att has roll over minutes, and unlimited text is the same price.

    - A

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah, that's it

    It's not that the iPhone is popular and so they want to get in on that bandwagon. No. It's because Blackberry isn't selling as well. Wait, why is that. Damn, the iPhone is popular.

    It couldn't be that Verizon wants the iPhone so they can't lose customers just because they don't have the iPhone. Or they just want to have as much choice for their users as possible.

    No, someone has to try to come up with some excuse or another.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the Thinking Here?

    "Verizon's CDMA iPhone may be coming about because of a loss of favor for BlackBerry and likely Android"

    It's just been recently that signs of slowing BB & Android sales started to appear. So, we're to believe that Verizon noticed this last month and then asked Apple to build them a CDMA iPhone? And like magic, Apple will have one all tested and ready to go in February.

    Don't ya think that Apple has been planning on a CDMA phone for quite a while now?

    Sometimes when I try to figure out the thought processes of the author of an article like this, it makes my head hurt.

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