engine - 5:35 pm on Jan 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Now that Apple will be selling the iPhone on Verizon, is Google’s Android smart-phone operating system doomed? Verizon, after all, has been a big reason for Android’s success. The carrier has spent the past two years promoting the heck out of Android, mostly because Verizon needed something that could compete with iPhone, which was carried exclusively on AT&T.
Early on, Android phones were pitched as kind of ersatz iPhones, devices that could do most of what an iPhone did—but were available on carriers other than AT&T, a relatively horrible network that was the biggest source of complaints about Apple’s transformative device. Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, said at yesterday’s event that the question he’s heard more than any other over the past few years has been, “When will the iPhone be available on Verizon?”
There will be huge demand for the Verizon iPhone. And if this event had taken place a year ago, I would have said Android was in trouble. Who wants to buy an ersatz iPhone when you can get the real thing?
“Android is a global phenomenon,” he says. “The big deal is, Android is free software, and handsets that can run it are getting super-cheap. So we are going to see a massive shift from 'dumb phones' to 'smart phones' around the world this year, and iPhone will not be the big beneficiary of that trend.”