An Apple, Verizon Partnership Threatens Android: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-10-14

An Apple, Verizon Partnership Threatens Android: 10 Reasons Why

Apple and Verizon have finally partnered up. The hardware maker will be offering its tablet to Verizon Wireless customers starting in a couple weeks. When that happens, the debate over when Apple would finally start its growth strategy in the United States will be over. And then, the debate will turn to how the company will use its Verizon partnership to its advantage. 

Unfortunately for Google, Apple will use its new Verizon partnership to start chipping away at the search giant's lead in the mobile market. Apple is simply too big and too powerful not to do that. And it undoubtedly has its sights set on Android OS as it attempts to control the mobile market. 

Here's why Google should be so concerned about an Apple-Verizon partnership. 

1. Android OS is the central Verizon player 

Verizon has made it clear over the past couple years that it's riding the Android train as far as it will take it. Since AT&T had Apple and the iPhone, Verizon needed something of its own. And it found that with Google and Android. But now that the company is warming to Apple, its desire to work so closely with Android OS might wane. 

2. The focus will be off 

It's hard to see why Verizon's focus won't shift as the company continues to add Apple products to its lineup. After all, Apple commands the kind of respect that few other firms in the industry do. And it will probably help Verizon increase its revenue by a wide margin. It would only make sense for the company to shift its focus from Android OS to Apple. 

3. Steve Jobs plays a role 

Steve Jobs will undoubtedly play a role in the issues Android will now face. For a long time Jobs has been making Verizon salivate over its products. Finally, it has allowed it to get a taste. Verizon won't pass that up. And Jobs definitely won't let the moment pass without getting as much as possible for it. That means Android OS will probably get caught in the cross hairs. 

4. If the iPad sells well, Verizon will be off and running 

Quite a bit is riding on the sale of the iPad at Verizon. If the device performs well, Verizon will be far more likely to give in to Apple's demands and focus its efforts there. If the device doesn't sell all that well, Android might get a reprieve. But unfortunately for Google, the chances of the iPad not selling well seem slim, which can only mean bad things for the company's mobile operating system. 

Verizon, Apple Partnership Puts Google on Defensive

5. Apple takes over the hype 

Google's Android platform is enjoying hype on Verizon's network right now. More and more people are going to the carrier's stores in the hopes of getting their hands on those Android-based devices they've been hearing about. But with the iPad coming to stores, all that will change. There will be customers coming to Verizon stores looking for Apple's tablet. That alone could hurt Android OS and Android-based devices. 

6. Ubiquity was once Google's advantage 

The reason why Android OS has been so successful over the past couple years is that it has been available on devices running on multiple carrier networks. The market is simply bigger for Android-based devices and Google has capitalized on that fact. But as Apple starts warming to Verizon, the Apple will effectively will double its market. In the process, Google's former advantage of ubiquity will be gone. 

7. Google used to capitalize on AT&T 

Although AT&T carries some Android-based devices, it's not commonly thought of first when folks talk about carriers. Instead, it's defined by the iPhone. For a while, Google was able to capitalize on that, since it had the largest U.S. carrier, Verizon, on its side. But it won't be able to do that any longer. Google now needs AT&T more than ever. And going forward, it will be a real fight for mobile dominance. 

8. Where will the tablets go? 

Several Android-based tablets are scheduled to launch early next year. The only problem is, Google and its hardware partners need to determine how they're going to differentiate those products from the iPad. After all, once that device can run on Verizon's 3G network with a MiFi hotspot, as well as on AT&T's 3G network, there isn't much that the iPad's competitors can say to prove they have better connectivity options. That could be troublesome for those firms and Android OS. 

9. The vendors can't match Apple 

With Apple products sitting on Verizon store shelves, every other vendor on the market will need to step up their game. Comparing a device such as the iPad to a comparable product from any other vendor will quickly reveal one simple truth: Apple's product is better. Realizing that, future Android-based products need to find ways to look better than Apple products. Previously, it didn't matter all that much, since consumers couldn't compare. But now they can. And that's a major problem. 

10. There's nothing Google can do 

Unfortunately for Google, there is really nothing that it can do to stop the Apple-Verizon partnership from happening. Once the iPhone arrives on Verizon's store shelves, Apple will be able to turn up the competitive heat on Google Android. That doesn't bode well for Android's future sales growth. 

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