Verizon was one of (if not the) biggest seller of Android-powered cell phones over the last year or so. Now that Verizon is able to sell the Apple iPhone, does that spell bad news for Android phone makers?
Over the last year or so, the number of available Android phones has shot up significantly. There are now well over 100 Android-powered smartphones on the market from seven or more manufacturers. That numbers game explains some of why Android has been catching up to Apple’s numbers over the last several month: it’s pretty easy to do when the odds are 100-plus to one in your favor. That is not to say that Android is not a good option; it is. Still, many people would prefer to have the original hot-ticket handset, which is to say the iPhone, if they only did not have to go to AT&T to get it.
Now that the iPhone is available from Verizon, at least some of those Android phone makers are seeing a lot of darkness at the end of the tunnel. Motorola, one of Verizon’s major Android players, has already predicted that their sales will be well down for this quarter simply because they will lose Android sales to the new star at Verizon, the iPhone 4. They went so far as to announce their worries to the press and saw their share price fall 7 percent as a result. Motorola Mobile CEO Sanjay Jha actually predicted that their sales would be down and that it was because of the Verizon iPhone.
There is no question that the iPhone has been far outselling any of the Android phones on the market as of today, and it is likely that will continue to be the case with Apple adding Verizon as a partner. Google’s Android operating system itself, on the back of the 100+ handsets that use it, is making significant inroads when compared to iOS4, the Apple iPhone and iPad OS. Still, it seems that having the iPhone available at Verizon is going to steal sales from Android phone manufacturers, and that would mean reducing the number of Android phones sold overall.
It is clear that this one instance of partnership, Apple with Verizon, is having some truly far-reaching effects in the smartphone marketplace. Having a CDMA iPhone will have much the same effect via other carriers across the world. When the iPhone 5 appears in June, it could well be a world-phone, capable of both GSM and CDMA and usable on almost all 3G wireless networks in the world. If the current trend continues with other as it has Motorola, there are tough times ahead for Android smartphones.