Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Verizon iPhone 5 alone will present a formidable challenge.

As Apple prepares to finally launch its iPhone on Verizon’s store shelves Feb. 10.But just the Verizon iPhone 5 alone will present a formidable challenge, and by all measures, it will easily beat any Android handset it’s up against.

Here’s why: The iPhone will increase Verizon’s influence.

Verizon in no way prefers one platform over another, unless one of those platforms offers more revenue potential. Going forward, it’s quite possible that the current-generation Verizon iPhone will usher in many more customers to the carrier’s network, and effectively put it ahead of AT&T and all other competitors in the United States. If that happens, Verizon will have no choice but to give preferential treatment to Apple. It’s quite possible that the next version of the iPhone on Verizon’s network will capitalize on that treatment.

The forgotten platform?

At the same time, the iPhone's and iphone feature success could have a negative impact on Android. Prior to the iPhone’s arrival, Android was the go-to platform on Verizon’s network, and companies like Motorola and HTC were capitalizing on this situation. But if Verizon sees more revenue potential with the iPhone than with Android—which seems quite likely—and pushes the iPhone to the top of its marketing strategy, Android handset sales could drop off. As a result, Android devices will have an even harder time competing with the iPhone 5 across the smartphone market.

The 4G possibility: One of the key factors in the Verizon iPhone 5 will be 4G. Currently, Verizon has the potential to reach more than 100 million people with its 4G network. It expects to bring it to even more customers through the end of 2011. Most reports suggest Apple will capitalize on that and bring 4G connectivity to the next Verizon iPhone. If that happens, currently scheduled Android 4G handsets won’t have that advantage. The onus will be on those handset makers to find another way to appeal to customers. That might be more difficult than some think.

If the current iPhone software programming is so appealing to customers, how many more will jump at the chance to buy an iPhone with the many features Apple will likely be making available in the next iteration of its smartphone?