Would you buy Verizon iPhone?
It's the question of the morning, now that Verizon has announced iPhone 4 is coming to its network. Verizon made the announcement just after 11 am ET at a press briefing in New York -- a venue that is sure to please Wall Street analysts and investors. But for all the rumors and speculation and now answers to if or when the real question is: Will you buy Verizon iPhone? Would you switch from another carrier for Verizon iPhone? More significantly, would you give up iPhone on AT&T to get it? Please answer in comments or e-mail joewilcox at gmail.com.
The questions are relevant, even though the phone won't be available for some time. Existing Verizon customers can preorder on February 3 and everyone else on February 10. Verizon's iPhone 4 will cost pennies more than AT&T's -- $199.99 for 16GB model and $299.99 for 32GB model, subsidized with two-year contractual commitment. But there's an extra bonus: Mobile hotspot for up to five devices.
The nuttiest analysis going into today's Verizon event comes from Dan Frommer at Business Insider. Frommer's logic is baffling, starting with the headline: "Why The Verizon iPhone Is Bad News For Google." He writes: "We don't expect Verizon to forget about its successful Droid lineup. But as it puts more marketing muscle behind the iPhone, Android will probably suffer. The question now is whether the other carriers -- especially AT&T -- can make up for whatever Android loses at Verizon."
Say, what? Verizon won't come close to abandoning Android, nor pull back. Verizon has spent more than $100 million marketing Droid, and has successfully built up the brand independent of Android. Verizon won't pull back from that. Frommer's shortsighted perspective puts too much emphasis on iPhone's importance, like it's the only smartphone anyone wants. Frommer needs to put down the Apple Kool-Aid and try other beverages.
AT&T is another indicator. The hottest Android phone coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show is the Motorola Atrix, which AT&T will exclusively carry. Right, the only US network with iPhone since 2007. Something else: Gartner has already flagged Android phones coming out of China as significant growing market. Android is much bigger than Apple, Verizon or US sales.
In a post yesterday, veteran tech blogger Robert Scoble indicated that he will switch from AT&T on iPhone to Verizon for iPhone. Scoble slammed AT&T for network reliability, and some Betanews readers agreed; others not. "I agree with this article. When AT&T started offering the sub-$100 iPhone, the network in my area died. Unable to send text, MMS or make and receive calls," writes commenter y0himba.
"The more you Verizon fanboys move over to big red, the better," writes new commenter iphonedroidberry (Does no one use their real name anymore?). It "gives me and my iPhone more bandwidth; and why is an iPhone on Verizon such a big huge story? Ya know, since Verizon has like a thousand iPhone-killing Android phones, right? So what's the big deal?" That's clearly the point Frommer didn't get.
In fairness to AT&T, my network issues largely disappeared with iPhone 4; perhaps it was the device, network upgrades or both.
I'm not switching. In November I dumped iPhone 4 on AT&T and returned to T-Mobile with the Android-powered, Google branded Nexus S. But would you switch? Please answer in comments or e-mail joewilcox at gamil dot com.