With Windows Phone 7, Verizon joins AT&T with largest smartphone selection
Verizon will soon get a Windows Phone 7 device and when it does it will become only the second US carrier with smartphones running each of the major smartphone platforms, including iOS, WP7, Android, webOS, and BlackBerry.
Updated and Corrected: Mary Jo Foley posted on the rumors that a WP7 device, likely the HTC Trophy will be coming to Verizon Wireless by the end of March. With this phone, Verizon Wireless will become only the second carrier in the U.S. to have smartphones from all major mobile operating systems giving their customers the widest choice and truly ruling them all. I completely forgot about the AT&T version of the Palm Pre Plus that is rarely ever advertised and thus AT&T also has devices from every smartphone OS, including Symbian.
It had been a long time coming, but we all know that Verizon Wireless now offers the Apple iPhone 4 on their network. PC Magazine reported that Verizon's CEO stated the iPhone 4 had initial sales better than any other device they have had on their network.
I strongly believe that Verizon and Motorola helped make Android the success it is today with strong marketing and product emphasis when it launched the Droid back in 2009. The Droid was also one of the first smartphones to launch at the now standard $199 price that helped make it successful too. Today, I still hear people referring to every Android device as a Droid, even when they are not on Verizon or made by Motorola. T-Mobile had the G1 first, but sales were quite slow for Android until later in 2009 when the first Motorola Droid took off. It looks like Android is still very good for Verizon and I think they will continue to focus on this platform where they can move quite fast with things like LTE.
Verizon followed Sprint with Palm (now HP) webOS devices and actually ended up getting the better devices while Sprint was left behind. Buying a webOS device on Verizon is actually a great deal since they throw in the WiFi hotspot tethering service for free (not on the new Pre 2 though). Just a couple of weeks ago, Verizon rolled out the Palm Pre 2 so you can now get a new webOS device running the latest version of the operating system. HP recently announced the Pre 3 and Veer and in all likelihood Verizon will get these as well.
Windows Phone 7
As I posted back in December there are apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace that have Verizon branding so I truly believed we would already have had a device in our hands. It seems the Windows Phone update is taking a bit longer than planned and the update is needed for CDMA support. Sprint looks to be getting the first CDMA WP7 device with the HTC Arrive, with rumors that Verizon will be close behind them. Like Windows Phone on other carriers, I don't think we will see too many offerings for several months as manufacturers do not seem to be rushing to release WP7 devices. They may be waiting for the fairly major update coming towards the end of 2011 that will bring Twitter integration, some kind of multitasking, and more.
Verizon has been known for years as a solid RIM BlackBerry carrier, especially for businesses with its world BlackBerry devices that supported both CDMA and GSM networks in a single device. Verizon continues to carry a wide assortment of BlackBerry devices and will certainly continue this business.
In addition to offering every major smartphone platform, Verizon also has the fastest 4G network with LTE that will soon be coming to smartphones as well. Given all these choices, it is tough not to at least consider Verizon as a mobile carrier. Granted, they are one of the most expensive, but they have the widest selection and coverage out there so your premium cost is paying for the best.
UPDATE: As I stated in the first paragraph, AT&T actually does sell the Palm Pre Plus. I completely forgot about it because it is never advertised or promoted. In looking at AT&T's lineup, they actually have devices running Symbian so AT&T is the real king of selection with truly all of the smartphone operating systems represented.