Unlike with AT&T, the Verizon iPhone isn't the network's best smartphone
Apple enters the Verizon market in a different position than when they were on AT&T with Verizon having a rock star existing and future lineup of Android devices. While the masses will buy the new iPhone, what decisions will the smartphone fans make on Verizon.
Last year when the iPhone 4 was announced for AT&T, it was clearly the best smartphone on the AT&T network with some BlackBerry devices, old Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, and rather lame Android devices available for customers to consider. The story is quite different on Verizon Wireless though where the iPhone 4 won't even be the best smartphone available on the nation's largest network. In fact, there will be several Android devices, Windows Phone 7 devices, and maybe even a webOS device, launching in the first half of 2011 that will far exceed the features and functionality of the iPhone 4. Without a doubt though, the iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless will still sell millions to the masses who are moving from feature phones and those locked into the Apple ecosystem.
Other devices available now
Current competition for the iPhone 4 on Verizon includes the Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid 2, HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid Pro, and Samsung Fascinate. There are plenty of other BlackBerry and Android devices too, but these five are the higher end models that can compete with the iPhone 4 right now. It will be interesting to see if owners of these smartphone switch over to the iPhone 4 or if they stick with their Android device and wait to see what Apple brings out for a new generation product.
Verizon devices announced, coming in first half of 2011
While the five mentioned above can compete well with the iPhone 4, there were a few other devices already announced last week at CES that in nearly all respects beat the iPhone 4. Don't forget we still have Mobile World Congress coming up when manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson may reveal even more new smartphones that will eventually launch on Verizon.
The new devices we know that are coming to Verizon that include support for the 4G LTE network include the HTC Thunderbolt, Motorola Droid Bionic, LG Revolution, and Samsung 4G LTE (no official name yet). These devices all run Android 2.2, with likely upgrade or launch with Android 2.3, have 4.3 inch displays, and dual-core processors (the Droid Bionic even has the NVIDI Tegra 2 chip). Hard core smartphone geeks likely won't even consider the iPhone 4 with these four new powerful smartphones launching in the next few months, especially if they get a taste of the 4G LTE speeds like what I am seeing with the LTE USB stick I am testing out.
I think it is great news that the iPhone is rolling out on another carrier and like someone mentioned on Twitter it could have been Apple's strategy to make this happen sooner rather than later to try to stem the tide of the Android wave. It may have this effect to some degree, but with these extremely powerful and fast Android devices launching soon I don't think they will sell as many as they would have if they had the Verizon iPhone last year before Android took off at such a fast pace.