Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

Summary: The incessant handicapping over the coming Android vs. Apple iOS battle has caused temporary insanity in a few folks. Android vs. Apple isn't zero sum. Both will continue to shine at the expense of other smartphone platforms.

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The incessant handicapping over the coming Android vs. Apple iOS battle has caused temporary insanity in a few folks.

First up, Dan Lyons concludes that the Verizon iPhone is too late to thwart Android. Lyons likens the iPhone to the Model T. Lyons' lens---he switched from iPhone to Android---is a little off, says John Gruber. I'm with Gruber on the insanity of Lyons' argument.

But let's zoom out just a smidge. The iPhone landing at Verizon does indeed give Android devices some better competition. ComScore reckons that Verizon will market the iPhone heavily and gain smartphone market share. Indeed, there will be a shelf space war for sure at Verizon Wireless stores as Apple and Android duke it out. However, AT&T's new love affair with Android will offset some of that slippage---assuming the iPhone does take away sales of the Droid.

I'm increasingly convinced that Verizon's internal figures will change---it will sell enough iPhones to minimize its dependence on Android---but the big picture won't. In the end, folks will continue to get Android devices. More folks will buy iOS devices. Let's face it for every Apple fan, there's an Android person that wants to stick it to Steve Jobs. The Android vs. Apple camps resemble Republicans vs. Democrats. In the end, both Android and iOS will continue to cause havoc on the smartphone platform market. Android will have the most share. Apple will have decent market share and the most profit by a wide margin.

The rest of the competition is largely screwed.

That latter point should be the focus. There's no zero sum game with Android and Apple. Those two combined are going to cause more than a few headaches for other platforms. To wit:

  • How exactly is Research in Motion going to get shelf space? RIM looked good to AT&T when it was diversifying ahead of losing the iPhone. At CES, AT&T hopped in bed with Android. RIM is now sleeping on the couch (just like it was at Verzion). Without a great device, RIM will continue to lose share to the Android-Apple tag team, argues Jason Perlow.
  • What happens with Windows Phone 7? I like Windows Phone 7 a lot, but can't bring myself a device powered by that OS. I just don't have a big desire to be all that different. My smartphone bake-off is between Android and the iPhone. If I'm not alone with my Windows Phone 7 assessment where does that leave Microsoft? My hunch is that Windows Phone 7 will become the leader of the feature phone pack, but it'll still run into Android.
  • Hewlett-Packard's webOS will be neat, but niche. Wake me up when Nokia decides the U.S. is slightly important. Every other smartphone platform out there will have to divert attention away from Android and the iPhone.

Sure, the Android vs. iPhone zero sum storyline is dramatic, but the reality is the two combined are going to kick a lot of smartphone booty.

More:

Verizon's iPhone: Analysts debate whether utopia has arrived

Topics: Operating Systems, Android, Verizon, Software, Smartphones, BlackBerry, Mobility, Microsoft, iPhone, Hardware, Google, Apple, Windows

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56 comments
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  • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

    I'll take Windows Phone 7 over Andriod or iPhone, so I really am not too concerned with how these two play out.
    roteague
    • Normal Windows users are not religious like you are. They buy Android and

      iPhone, as Windows Phone 7 sucks compared to the competition.
      DonnieBoy
      • Said the man who knows nothing

        @DonnieBoy
        So whyt post. You've never used WP7, or iPhone, and you've never said what phone you do use (if you do use one), so aren't your comments pretty meaningless?
        John Zern
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @Donnie Boyo
        Where are normal Windows users? In your closed and illusional views there are no normal Windows users except few propeller heads, right? Get a real job Donnie Boyo before everyone think your views are c**p.
        Ram U
      • Agreed, Mr. Zern

        @DonnieBoy does tend to talk alot about items he has never used, and yet "allways knows a lot of people" who use the Microsoft products and have hated them.

        "Suspect" would be an understatement.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • WP7 is actually really good.

        @DonnieBoy

        MS concentrated on getting the features they have implemented very very well similar to the Apple approach. It is still rather slow on loading but that will be addressed in about 10 days.

        To me, the telling truth will be the roll out of the update. If MS has control of the update like Apple does with iOS and not the cluster frick created in the Android eco-system, I think people will see that as a win.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @DonnieBoy And here I thought you called ALL of us Windows users propeller heads and idiots...

        I'm sure you've never even messed with a WP7 device... I did and personally prefer iOS to it or Android but I'm not saying it sucks - I'm saying I did not like it as much as iOS. Besides aren't you the same person who has been saying for years that Win32/64 is dead and gone?
        athynz
      • I'm no fan of DonnieBoy but he did qualify his statement with:

        @DonnieBoy: [i]...compared to the competition.[/i]

        I take this as his opinion he prefers Android.
        ye
    • Step outside the U.S and much of all this is irrelevant!

      seriously guys, much of the nightmare that is the smart-phone wars in the U.S is <i>really</i> ONLY relevant to the U.S<br><br>* In most parts of the world, these types of "exclusive to such and such a carrier" are either banned or publicly frowned upon. <br><br>* RIM is still a powerhouse for business/corporate users<br><br>* Nokia still a serious player<br><br>* Much less likely to see an allegiance to a particular mobile-OS/brand as an extension of their personal esteem or identity!<br><br>Yet again the world just shakes their heads at you silly Yanks!
      kaninelupus
    • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

      @roteague WP7 shows promise of having the ability to be great - but isn't - yet.
      If you were saying what you said and this were 2012, I might agree with you. But you can't even cut and paste with WP7 yet. It's missing some real key, even fundamental ingredients. I'm confident MS is working on them, although I'm less confident that MS perceives WP7 OS to have the significance overall that really does for MS.

      In it's current form, today, an educated consumer wouldn't take a Windows Phone 7 over an Android or iPhone, unless you were simply attracted to the beautiful displays and nice looking layouts and widgets.

      MS is in a great position to compromise exactly between iPhone and Android (having desktops with widgets is Android-like, arranged in a neat grid form is very iPhone, even if iPhone doesn't offer desktops or widgets). It's customizable, but you can't replace the entire UI like you can with Android. Let's HOPE that MS continues to develop this in the right direction - meaning, listening to exactly what users are praising and criticizing about the respective platforms. So far, so good...
      ...but a long, long way off from an iPhone or Android beater at this point.

      Come back in 2012 and see what WP7 looks like.
      geolemon
  • Especially for Google, it is the SUM of Android iOS phones on the market

    that they care about. Actually, even Windows Phone 7 phones are good for Google as there are more people out there doing mobile search, and the majority will switch the search to Google.
    DonnieBoy
    • That's funny. It appears alot of people won't

      @DonnieBoy and that's what worries google enough to try to make [i]another[/i] Google phone (wasn't one massive phone failure enough?).

      They need to lock people into [b] their[/b] search, yet carriers and companies are choosing alternatives.

      Isn't competition great!
      John Zern
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @John Zern I doubt that Google is worried. If anyone is worried, it's Apple. HEnce why they are now on Verizon. Both will have their fans, but let's face it, Droid is Apple's competition that Windows lacked in, in other departments.

        Droid fanboys and non love their Droid phones and love them for different reasons. Iphone's sells will not really dig into the Droid market. Plus some of the differences are subtle.
        dove-7
    • Bing on Android

      @DonnieBoy
      It's funny how Verizon switches the default search on some Android devices to Bing then.

      Oh yeah, and the Google app on WP7 sucks.
      dazzlingd
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @dazzlingd
        Strange how often software from competitors works poorly on windows, eh? As if it were a strategy from Redmond.
        DevRandom
      • What are you talking about?

        @DevRandom<br>You must be confusing Microsoft with Apple. Most 3rd party software works great on Windows, except for Apple software, such as iTunes.<br><br>Most 3rd party software works terribly on Apple.<br><br>Must be something to do with the support Microsoft provides with the World's largest developer network.<br><br>DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!
        dazzlingd
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @dazzlingd
        Can I get some of what you?re smoking? Microsoft has a long and documented history of putting out ?service pack? that alter the performance of competitors products. You might be confusing ISVs with competitors. Microsoft has hampered QuickTime, Netscape, Yahoo, etc. Whatever market Microsoft wants to dominate they will stop at nothing to hamper the competition.
        Rick_K
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @dazzlingd Yeah, but many users will go right back to Google. My phone's default is Google. It's cool that Google isn't pulling an Apple and forcing people to use and not use.
        dove-7
      • Supporting evidence please.

        @Rick_K: [i]Microsoft has a long and documented history of putting out ?service pack? that alter the performance of competitors products.[/i]

        Unless you're referring to improvements in performance I would like to see some of this documentation in support of your claim.
        ye
      • RE: Android vs. Verizon iPhone storyline misses the big picture

        @ye: Rick_K has no documentation of his claim. Apple products on Windows suck and always have. That has nothing to do with MS.
        nomorebs