A few days ago, CNN ran a story detailing how Verizon sales representatives are aggressively marketing Android smartphones instead of the iPhone.
David Goldman writes:
Here’s what I found: Next time you walk into a Verizon store looking to buy a smartphone, expect the hard sell on a 4G Android device.
In each of the 10 discussions, representatives steered me toward either the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, or the LG Lucid — all 4G-capable phones running Google’s Android software. When I asked if those devices were better than the iPhone, they responded that the iPhone was an inferior alternative because it only runs on the company’s slower 3G network.
One Verizon rep reportedly went so far as to call the iPhone outdated because it runs on 3G.
So what gives? Is Verizon aligning itself with Android at the expense of Apple?
Verizon gave some typical corporate boilerplate comments on the story, but the underlying reasons behind the 4G Android push is pretty cut and dry – Verizon wants LTE subscribers and the iPhone right now is 3G only. That, however, may change when the iPhone 5 comes out.
PC Mag writes:
Verizon has spent millions of dollars rolling out its massive LTE network to cover 200 million people so far. You could call it billions, if you include the $ 5 billion spent on the C Block 700-Mhz spectrum licenses. But according to its first-quarter earnings presentation it’s only been able to convert 9.1 percent of its 93 million users to LTE.
So there Verizon lies, with a massive 4G network running at breakneck speed and plenty of room for users that are currently clogging things up on Verizon’s 3G network.
From Verizon’s position, the solution looks simple: move heavy data users in crowded urban areas from 3G to 4G as fast as possible. That would help everyone. The new 4G users get much faster connections, and the 3G users would see better speeds and network quality, too, as that network becomes less crowded.
Easier said than done, however. Remember that the iPhone is Verizon’s most popular smartphone and accounted for more than half of all the smartphones Verizon sold in the last quarter.
John Gruber also has an insightful take on things, writing: “I can see where Verizon is coming from, of course. They’re a carrier, not a handset maker, so they want to emphasize the importance of the network over the device.