Verizon iPhone Looks Like Bad News for Motorola: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-16 Print this article Print

Motorola might be doing well in today's mobile market, but the company could be facing several problems if Apple brings its iPhone to Verizon's network in the coming months.

The talk over Apple's iPhone coming to Verizon's network won't go away. More and more reports are piling up, claiming that the device will be landing on Verizon's network in January. If and when that happens, the market will be a much different place. Millions more customers will have a chance to get their hands on Apple's smartphone. And all the devices that currently enjoy success on Verizon's network could be in trouble.

One of those devices is Motorola's Droid X. Widely regarded as the best alternative to Apple's iPhone, the Droid X boasts a big, 4.3-inch display, a 1GHz processor and some of the best entertainment functions of any smartphone on the market. It's supported by the Droid 2, another fine iPhone alternative to Motorola. For now, both devices are enjoying relative success.

But Motorola's success in the mobile market could be short-lived when Apple's iPhone arrives on Verizon's service. The carrier will focus its efforts on Apple, the market will buy into the hype, and all the while, the Droid X and Droid 2 could flounder on store shelves. Simply put, a Verizon iPhone would be bad news for Motorola. Here's why:

1. Verizon would go elsewhere

If the iPhone comes to Verizon's network, expect the carrier to focus all of its efforts on Apple. Whereas Verizon currently helps to promote and support Motorola's smartphones, an iPhone running on its network would change all that. To some extent, the change makes sense. Apple's iPhone would be the biggest release on Verizon's network in years. And it would undoubtedly take the sales lead. Why wouldn't Verizon want to work hard to make the iPhone an unbridled success? 

2. The hype would be overwhelming

Considering Verizon customers have been waiting for an iPhone for four generations now, the hype surrounding the device would undoubtedly drive unprecedented demand for the smartphone. That, in turn, could significantly hurt demand for Motorola's smartphones. All the customers who might have purchased a Droid X would turn to Apple's smartphone instead. The hype following the Verizon iPhone's announcement could single-handedly take out Motorola's smartphone efforts. 

3. It's heavily invested in Verizon

Motorola has become heavily invested in Verizon. Because AT&T has the exclusive rights to the iPhone, Verizon needed to find a viable alternative for its customers. It did so with the Droid and the Droid X. And so far, Motorola has reaped the rewards of that. But by putting so many of its eggs in Verizon's basket, it's leaving itself wide open for problems when the iPhone comes to the new carrier. That's not a good thing. 

4. Apple would make the Droid X look bad

Make no mistake that Apple has the unique ability to make the competition look bad. When the iPhone was first launched, AT&T displayed it prominently in stores. Consumers were then able to compare, say, a BlackBerry's functionality with the iPhone's. Upon doing so, they fell in love with Apple's smartphone. The same will undoubtedly happen at Verizon stores. When consumers need to renew their contracts and compare a Droid X to an iPhone, they will pick the latter every time. The Droid X is great, but it's not an iPhone.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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