After the buzz last week, driven in part by reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, that the iPhone would finally be coming to the Verizon network early next year, a few friends over the weekend wanted to know: did this mean I was finally going to get an iPhone?
My short answer: No.
First of all, I told them, this is still a rumor. The Times is sourcing its report on a single person who is "in in direct contact with Apple" and doesn't want to "alienate his contacts at Apple." The Journal cites "people familiar with the matter." You'll excuse me if I don't jump up and down with excitement over these reports. It's not the first time I've heard this rumor.
Second, I'm just not loving the iPhone as much as I once did. I'll admit that I once had a bad case of iPhone envy - but AT&T's service in the San Francisco area was so poor that I just couldn't bring myself to pay that bill. I also said repeatedly that I would be one of the first in line if the iPhone ever landed at Verizon.
But that was then and this is now.
Don't get me wrong. The iPhone is an amazing device and is consistently raising the bar for the competition. In terms of sales, it's consistently a shining star for Apple's bottom line. And I have no doubt - as do the analysts that the NYT and WSJ interviewed - that an iPhone on the Verizon network could be quite disruptive to the industry. But not for me. I wasn't all that impressed with the iPhone 4, as well as all of that antennagate drama and now, that GlassGate problem. (Why does there always have to be "gate" for every little scandal?)
My final point is less about Apple and more about Google's Android. What can I say? I like Android - a lot - and I have no intention on dumping it just because the iPhone finally appeared on the Verizon lineup. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Battery life on my Droid Incredible, for example, leaves a lot to be desired. But I can work past something like that by keeping a charger in my car or a USB power adapter with my computer when I use it remotely. And I'm also hoping that Google and the device makers are working on it, as well. If I had an iPhone, there really wouldn't be a way for me to compensate for the poor signal that keeps dropping my calls or making me miss them all together.
Does that mean I won't ever change my mind about the iPhone? Of course not. Who knows what the next design looks like, which carriers will be supporting it or what that entry price point will be? And what about the Windows 7 Phone devices, which are being unveiled today in New York City? Or the new Blackberry? And let's not forget that HP still plans on doing something with the WebOS system it acquired in the Palm acquisition .
Bottom line: I'm cool with my Android smartphone. I like the OS, the apps, the hardware and especially the integration with Google products. The iPhone's arrival on the Verizon network - whenever that day might really be - can't take that away.