This isn’t directly Android related, but its a pretty big scoop and we felt worthwhile in the grand scheme of things. We know that Verizon passed on the first iPhone, probably at least in part due to what they considered unacceptable exclusivity/money terms, and their decision to instead back the first touchscreen BlackBerry (Storm) proved a bust. But in the past 6 months it seems Verizon has completely redeemed themselves, throwing their weight behind Android and enjoying a HUGE boost because of it.
But now, with the launch of the iPad and rumors (yet again) swirling that Verizon could snag an iPhone, will Big Red’s support of Apple products mean less face time for Android?
Before you run off and begin spreading rumors that Verizon is getting the iPad be warned… that is NOT the case. The concept here is that Verizon KNOWS the iPad will be a HUGE success and wants to some how, some way, capitalize on the phenomenon. Rather than let AT&T’s underpowered 3G network (at least that’s what Verizon would call it) get all the business, why not use this as an opportunity to promote Verizon Mi-Fi, where you can have your own Wi-Fi hotspot virtually anywhere with a low monthly cost?
That’s exactly what Verizon is going to do.
This isn’t a huge shocker – it seems that “insiders” thought the iPad/Mi-Fi connection was obvious. But this is the first time we’re seeing the connection made in an internal memo. At this point we can only guess what Verizon does externally.
So how does this relate to Android? Most company’s have a certain annual advertising budget and sure, that will fluctuate and can be affected by market conditions, but right now its no secret that Android is earning the bulk of Verizon’s ad dollars. Verizon have positioned themselves as the Droid network, and with the HTC IncrediDroid on the way, we can only assume they’ll continue the assault. But if the carrier determines the iPad and potential iPhone are too much of an opportunity to pass up, their initiatives will be split, and I think the question is how much of the Advertising pie will be dedicated to Android?
When it comes to business for manufacturers and carriers there are certainly preferences, but loyalties and allegiances don’t take priority over smart business decisions. Verizon doesn’t even carry Apple products and they already slant some of their promotion towards the iPad – what will happen once that AT&T exclusivity runs out?
I hope Verizon stays on the Android bandwagon. You can’t blame them for trying to attract Apple dollars… I’m just hoping they don’t do so at Android’s expense. Verizon can think, say and do anything they want in regards to Apple, but with Android they have a proven winner and I hope that’s something they don’t overlook when entering into whatever negotiations take place in those big boardrooms in the back.
PS: It also appears that my critics were right – only Microsoft Project Pink phones today and no HTC Incredible announcement. I admit, I rushed a little bit to judgement and was flat out wrong. I attribute this to a “hearing what you want to hear” kind of situation, but either way, I take the blame!