Speculation abounds over when, not if, Verizon is getting the iPhone. So far, neither Apple nor Verizon have publicly commented on the possibility of the venerable smartphone making its way to a new carrier in the United States. But as time goes on, it seems increasingly more likely that it will happen sooner rather than later.
But what if Verizon isn’t the carrier that Apple chooses? What if the device is made available to T-Mobile customers instead? It could be disastrous for Verizon, and it could potentially set the company back in its bid to become the most dominant carrier in the market. Here are 10 reasons why the iPhone is so important to Verizon going into the next year.
1. It’s expected
Just about everyone sees the iPhone on Verizon’s horizon. With so many reports detailing the eventual release of Apple’s smartphone to the carrier’s stores, most consumers and enterprise customers are wondering when, not if, the smartphone will appear. If it turns out that Verizon doesn’t get the iPhone, the negative effect on the carrier’s business could be huge.
2. Current subscribers are waiting
Just as consumers and enterprise customers are waiting, so, too, are current Verizon subscribers. Some are sticking with Verizon simply because they believe that the iPhone is coming to their service soon. But if Verizon doesn’t get the iPhone in 2011, some of those subscribers might opt to leave, rather than wait another year.
3. Customers will go to AT&T
Of course, if Verizon loses subscribers because they don’t want to wait for the iPhone, those folks will hightail it over to AT&T. After all, AT&T is arguably Verizon’s most capable competitor. And it currently offers the iPhone. You do the math. Most folks are willing to wait for a while, but another year is likely too much to ask.
4. Android can be a liability
Android OS has been the main reason Verizon has been able to compete in today’s extremely competitive mobile landscape. But going forward, that could be a problem. There is no telling what Android’s future looks like.
Verizon Cant Win with Just BlackBerry, Android Phones
5. Google’s power consideration
As with other carriers, Verizon should be concerned about Google‘s growth in the mobile market. With a dominating operating system, the search giant could wield an unprecedented amount of influence in the space, which might eventually affect Verizon’s business negatively. For now, Verizon needs Google as a technology and market ally. But if Google becomes too big in the mobile market, due in large part to Verizon’s reliance on it, the carrier might be wishing for the iPhone more than ever before.
6. RIM won’t cut it
Research In Motion is currently an influential and important mobile company, and it’s helping Verizon generate significant revenue. But its influence is being diminished at the hands of Android OS and the iPhone. Should Verizon be forced to compete with BlackBerry and Android devices against AT&T-which has the iPhone as well as Android OS devices-it’s hard to see how it will stay atop the mobile space for much longer. RIM just isn’t enough to help Verizon in an iPhone-less world.
7. Apple keeps innovating
If Verizon doesn’t get the iPhone in 2011, expect Apple to keep innovating, regardless of which carrier runs its device. And as those innovations continue, more and more consumers will want to get their hands on Apple’s smartphone. Meanwhile, Verizon’s value proposition will diminish. In fact, the company might have an extremely difficult time selling consumers on its service over AT&T’s, which will undoubtedly continue to offer the iPhone. Simply put: Verizon needs to capitalize on Apple’s new designs-it’s imperative for its future success.
8. It makes future announcements suspect
The issue with all the news that has broken lately about Verizon getting the iPhone is that, if it doesn’t, future announcements from the carrier will be suspect. And consumers likely won’t believe that Verizon will actually get the device until it’s available in company stores. Consumers don’t like being told that something they’ve expected won’t happen. Should those promises be made once again, well, “fool me once, shame on you . . . ,” etc.
9. The financial impact could be huge
Verizon, naturally, wants to generate more money every year. If the iPhone hits its store shelves in 2011, the carrier can almost be assured profits will rise. But if it doesn’t, the financial impact on the firm could be disastrous. Verizon will probably lose subscribers, resulting in a calamitous revenue decline. Plus, investors might opt for other stocks over Verizon’s because the company wasn’t able to ink a deal with Apple. Financially, an iPhone-less Verizon would be a very wrong number.
10. Another competitor could step in
In the end, it’s entirely possible that Apple could offer its smartphone to an AT&T competitor that’s not Verizon. In fact, T-Mobile might be one of the first companies Apple works with. T-Mobile is currently an iPhone partner in other countries, so why wouldn’t Apple consider tapping it to be its U.S. iPhone carrier of choice? Verizon might seem like the obvious choice, but the company could, in the end, lose out to competitors. And that certainly wouldn’t be good for business.