Verizon iPhone 4 Will Impact Android: 10 Reasons Why

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Verizon iPhone 4 Will Impact Android: 10 Reasons Why

By Clint Boulton

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Verizon and Apple Unveil iPhone 4

Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead and Apple COO Tim Cook bask in the glow of their latest announcement, pictured here. Verizon sports more than 93 million wireless subscribers. Sure it's CDMA, which means voice and data can't be accessed simultaneously, but many people are still itching to grab the iPhone on the No. 1 carrier's network.

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There Goes Androids U.S. Smartphone Lead

Android through November nudged into first place over Apple iOS 26 percent to 25 percent in smartphones sold. Google can kiss that short-lived lead goodbye when Verizon begins selling the iPhone 4 countrywide Feb. 10.

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Droid Line

Samsung may be the largest Android handset seller, but Motorola is a close second, shipping millions of Droid phones on Verizon's network. How many customers on Verizon settled for a Droid when they wanted an iPhone? We may find out in 2011. Droid sales could fall off at Verizon while iPhone 4 sales soar past the 10 million mark. It will be interesting to see whether Motorola's new Droid Bionic, pictured here, can curb some of the iPhone 4 craze when Verizon launches it in the second quarter. It's 4G-ready!

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Marketing Muscle

Verizon shelled out well over $100 million to make Android a household name by putting the Droid brand all over television and even in Times Square in New York City. So the Droid brand is established, but the market is very much a "where-have-you-seen-me-lately" environment. Verizon could place more emphasis on marketing iPhone 4 to the detriment of Droid.

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New Android Phones Keep Coming

What Motorola loses in Android customers to the iPhone 4 on Verizon may be offset by the raft of new Android smartphones AT&T rolls out in 2011. The Atrix 3G may be the sexiest Android device we've seen yet. Perhaps Android will enjoy the same success at AT&T that it enjoyed at Verizon. The HTC Inspire 4G and Samsung Infuse 4G are two more smartphone horses AT&T expects to have in the race this year.

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4G LTE Could Help Androids Cause

While analysts such as Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster also see Apple selling the iPhone 4 on Verizon as aimed at Android, it's important to note that Verizon's iPhone 4 will be on 3G, not Verizon's speedy new 4G LTE network that company executives spent most of their time talking about at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. Once word gets out how fast the data flows on 4G LTE Android devices from Verizon, AT&T and others, Android's uptake could continue to rise.

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iPhone Tsunami

Analysts such as Munster expect Verizon to sell anywhere from a conservative 9 million to 15 million iPhones in 2011. Let's take the low end first. Munster said Verizon could sell 9 million iPhones, with AT&T selling 11 million, for a total of 20 million smartphones. That's twice as many in one year as Samsung sold of at least five Android smartphones models since the summer of 2010. Of course, Verizon and AT&T could end up smashing the expectations and sell 30 million iPhones together in 2011. If that happens, expect to see significant Android and RIM BlackBerry market share drops.

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Developers Favor the Biggest Networks

Developers will go where the big, massive networks are, and Verizon has the most massive network in the nation. With those millions of new customers to target, expect more coders to flock to iOS. Don't be surprised to see the App Store hit 400,000 apps through 2011 after the latest iPhone momentum.

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Android Market

This would make for one empty feeling Android Market. Sure, Android has been seeing 300,000 activations a day, but the application experience in the market is still lacking. The idea of developing for Verizon iPhone 4 could win over some Android developers who envy the cash Apple iPhone developers are making.

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Sprint, T-Mobile Waiting in Wings for iPhone?

We have no reason to believe Apple will seed the iPhone with Sprint or T-Mobile, but if it did you can imagine Android would see some losses on those networks as well. If Apple can work with Verizon, why not Sprint and T-Mobile? Sprint has 48.8 million customers, and T-Mobile USA boasts 33.6 million customers. That isn't chump change.

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The iPhone 4 on Verizon will put pressure on Android in 2011 for sure. Expect to see Apple iOS regain market share lost to Android this year, thanks to its new partnership with Verizon. However, it's important to remember that even the world's most popular smartphone will be pressed to effectively counter an open-source effort where any device manufacturer can seemingly flood the market with Android-based products. Both iPhone and Android handsets will be OK on sheer volume alone. It's just a case of one phone brand versus many phones.

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