One has to wonder if the fallout of the Verizon-iPhone deal includes a slowing down of Android's momentum.
There's no doubt that Verizon's strong endorsement of Android-based smartphones has been a big boon for Google's open source mobile operating system. In the Northeast, at least, customers often go with the Droid or other Android devices simply because Verizon's coverage seems to be better than AT&T and Verizon to date has not offered the iPhone.
Now that has changed and Verizon will no doubt impose a more neutral position vis a vis smartphone operating systems and new talking points for its in store associates. if you have spent any time in a Verizon Wireless store over the past year, you get my point. Android is a virtual religion there.
That's not the only factor with the potential of slowing Android sales. Google's other open source operating system, the Chrome operating system, is late, yes, but it's coming. And what impact will that have on the minds of consumers?
I asked a Google PR representative to explain to me how the company will differentiate between the two open source operating systems, especially now that both ChromeOS and Android tablets will compete side by side. Here's Google's official response:
"Chrome OS was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of form factors. We expect to see different partners build different kinds of devices based on Chrome OS, but for this initial release we are targeting the notebook form factor."
Some don't see the difference between an iPad or tablet as all that different from a notebook. And as Google noted, the company does expect different partners to build different kinds of devices based on the Chrome OS. Might we see ChromeOS-based smartphones?
Consumers are left wondering which of Google's two different open source operating systems will prevail in the marketplace. What if ChromeOS crushes Android? I know that the beauty of open source is that it gives consumers choice. But two different open source operating systems from one vendor?
That alone could cause a fair amount of confusion and delay sales. And it may also impact the purchasing decisions of consumers who understand the differences between the two platforms -- but who fear they're betting on a losing horse.
It will be interesting to see the impact of this market development on Android, whose momentum has been acclerating to date. I have been a Droid user for more than a year but am considering a switch to the iPhone. What can I say? The glass on my third and final Droid (covered by Insurance) shattered when I left it in the cold and I'm not eligible for an upgrade until my contract expires in September.
Why not give the iPhone a whirl?