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Android Threat Assessment: The Verizon iPhone Situation

Gotta admit Feb 10th is making me uncomfortable. This month over half of the Android handset impressions ad network Chitika served were Verizon hits. Meaning Verizon is Android’s best friend – with benefits. AT&T Android ad impressions? Two percent. Two percent versus fifty five. Since Christmas Android sales have cooled down but iPhone sales have really cooled down, very rough estimate of iPhone sales freezing almost three times harder than Android sales in the same time period based on this. And that tells me a lot of people have hit their purchasing brakes in response to Verizon’s announcement and they will release those breaks on the 10th and coast.

I think in terms of promotion we may end up seeing a neutral position in iPhone ads regarding which of the two carriers to go with, nothing explicitly and exclusively Verizon. But soon word will get out from New York City and Frisco, and it will, how fast Verizon iPhones are and everywhere else about how calls aren’t getting dropped, more sales.

So based on that and based on AT&T’s roll reversal with Verizon to embrace Android this year I smell an aggressive launch and continued push plus recurring upgrades of the iPhone and later on the iPad with Verizon, so yes, obviously Android’s going to take a hit, just not sure how big and for how long. Verizon’ has been raking in more customers with more lines and devices quite fast, most of them I believe buying an Android device, and now we’ve got this iPhone wedge.

AT&T could chill me out about this given that they’ve got not much else to do but go nuts with Android devices, which they’ve pledged to do with confirmation from Rubin on Google’s side, and that’s great but AT&T has essentially no experience selling Android to the point that I’m counting on the things to sell themselves, consumers don’t associate AT&T with Google and Android the way they do with Verizon, they may have a tough time multitasking Windows Phone and Android promotion and there stock is dirt cheap probably for a reason. Not to mention their service sucks in the two last cities a carrier would want its service to suck.

I’ll be surprised if AT&T offsets what would otherwise be a dip in Android sales. Though I expect Android sales to continue to accelerate maybe enough that this doesn’t become an issue.

Then again, the craze at Verizon might not be bad so bad. I think I’m more worried about the iPhone 5. But I don’t think it will support LTE and I’m willing to bet $40 on that if anyone’s interested. What I do think is that it will be business as usual in Mountain View, that any effect Apple instills will only be significant to people like me who need to brag about the success of their phone’s software of all things. Also, we got a flood of Android tabs beginning to hit and, though I know this word isn’t selling, they’re shipping pretty big.

So in conclusion, overall based on the above and other factors… I think it could go one way or the other.

I’ll say this: of the four players in this picture, I wouldn’t want to be AT&T. Or an AT&T Windows Phone and you know that’s right.

Doug Simmons


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