Is Android popularity dying on Verizon?



Android has taken the market by the neck, but the real test has always been when it’s put against Apple’s iPhones. Take Verizon as an example: the largest mobile carrier in the US was one of the biggest reasons why Android succeeded. The launch of the Motorola DROID was arguably the platform’s biggest boost, but it now seems like Apple is taking over Big Red.

The latest Verizon earnings report shows a great Q2 for Verizon, coming up strongly despite the competition being at its peak. The same can not be said for Android sales on Verizon, though.

iPhone sales have blown up on Verizon since the Apple smartphone arrived last year. The iPhone now holds 51% of Big Red’s Q2 (2013) activations. This is lower than the 56% iPhone activations during Q1, but we doubt Apple is really dying down. This could simply be a result of where the industry is currently placed.

Why Verizon iPhone sales are down from Q1

Many factors come into play and no one can exactly hit the middle of the bullseye on this. We can speculate that a lot of it has to do with the fact that the iPhone 5 is now getting older and losing hype. Also, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was released on Verizon during Q2, probably taking many customers from Apple’s older phone.

Samsung has created a very strong brand and is now Android’s #1 manufacturer. Surely, many users are more drawn to the brand-spanking new 5-inch “Next Big Thing”.


What will happen when the next iPhone comes

apple-logoEvery iPhone version is all but guaranteed to sell like hot pancakes on a Sunday morning. The next iPhone will not be the exception. Whether it’s the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6, we can expect that 51% to rise.

Android might fight back hard, though. We have the Samsung Galaxy S4 growing strong, the HTC One coming and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 could be coming soon.

Wrap Up

We didn’t think competition would get this strong between the iPhone and Android phones on Verizon. Of course, healthy competition is always good, but it’s getting a bit dangerous in the Verizon field.

verizon wireless logo brick wall featured

Apple is still a strong competitor and its mobile OS has its ups and downs. But we just have to wonder how many new activations it is getting from Android users who didn’t have the option to get an iPhone before. How many of you are thinking of switching to the iPhone on Verizon’s network?

AT&T is having its earnings call next week, so let’s see how the previously iPhone-exclusive carrier does in comparison with Android.


Edgar Cervantes

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  1. personally I have sold more galaxy S4’s since we got it than any other phone… i’d say smartphone wise its about %25 of people are buying the S4 in my location and another %25 are buying Iphones. the other %50 of smartphones are MOSTLY still android with the occasional windows or BB phone

    1. My experience is similar, with a few key differences. Bear in mind, this is for one of VZWs best stores. When it comes to smartphones, I sell basically 4 phones. S4, Razr HD, iPhone 4 (aka “the free iPhone”) and iPhone 5. Other phones pop up from time to time (typically the “free” flavor of the month or the Note).

      Most people don’t find any significant difference between the iPhone 4 and the i5. The thought process is generally “It’s a free iPhone.” not “what’s inferior about it compared to the newest model.” The public perception is that an iPhone is always good, no matter the model. It is, after all, The iPhone.

      Android, on the other hand, means people have to think, choose, decide, and compare. That’s more effort than most people want to put into a phone. Older, crappier, less polished Androids have sullied the system’s name. They had a bad experience with a Droid Bionic or HTC Rhyme, so that’s it. No more Droid. The heterogeneity of Android is both its biggest strength and weakness.

      Sales reps are, of course, in a commissions-based position. The more sales, the better. Time is money and all that. The quick, easy sale of an iPhone is a dream come true for most. The uphill battle for an Android…not so much. Lack of accessories for any device (low sales in which is the quickest way to get fired) is another issue. The Galaxy Note 2 had 3 cases. That’s it. The iPhone has like over 50 that we sell. Car chargers? Massive batteries in Androids are killing those off.

      It’s hard to make a living selling Android. I do it because I know it’s better for most consumers. It’s not about ME, to me. Others… that varies from rep to rep. That’s why we’re seeing the iPhone surge. The past two quarters are the first time VZW has offered a free iPhone. Name me one free Android that we sell that isn’t at least a borderline utter crap bucket. Bingo.

      1. That is really interesting and makes sense. Thanks for that perspective!

      2. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Very informative.

      3. yea as far as free phones its either the i4 or the RAZR M… which people seem to be happy with (they are looking for a free phone after all) but most lean towards the i4

      4. I love my Droid Bionic, never had a problem other than waiting impatiently for the latest OTA update.

  2. The lag time for premium Android phones to Verizion vs other major carriers is a big contributor. If I have to wait 1+ month for a cool phone to come to Verizion when it’s on Att or Tmobile, then I might consider switching carriers.

    1. This is exactly it. I was looking to replace my Verizon Galaxy Nexus with the HTC One, but it’ll be coming out so late that I’m not interested anymore. When it comes out, I’ll have a couple Verizon Droids and the new iPhone to look at as well. Now I’ll just wait for my contract to end and leave for AT&T prepaid.

      1. GoPhone $60 plan unlimited talk, text and 2GB of LTE (if you’re in an LTE market) with basically a BYOD.

        What a steal!

        Pro tip:
        If you’re porting in your number and you go into a corporate AT&T store for your free GoPhone SIM and the CSR tells you that they can’t port in your number, set up a number anyway, call GoPhone customer service and then port in your number

        1. I don’t know why more people aren’t leaving Verizon for AT&T prepaid. 2GB of LTE is nothing to sneeze at for $60/month! I use 2GB or less on Verizon right now. Plus the GSM phones are much easier on the battery with LTE on.

          1. You’re not telling me anything new. Even on Straight talk (AT&T SIM) you still have access to their HSPA+ network which is pretty good in my area (~5MBPS down and ~2MBPS up on average) GoPhone is better because you know for sure you have a solid 2GB a month to play with +LTE

          2. I’m not sure why you think we’re arguing?

          3. I don’t. I’m just saying that an AT&T MVNO is one of the best prepaid options. An even the GoPhone if you’re in an LTE market

          4. I am the opposite.. I used more than 14GB this month on Verizon. My average is over 15GB up to 35GB. I don’t know if I could do prepaid. But then again, once VZW decides its time to take my unlimited data away, bye bye I go!

      2. Moi aussi. I have the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I’ve been very happy with Verizon’s network but not their support for the phone. I long ago gave up waiting for Verizon updates which come months after the other carriers. I run my phone rooted and use a CyanogenMod ROM on it. My plan is to buy a Google Play S4 phone when my contract is up and then use an AT&T prepaid plan. I’d be happy to stick with Verizon if they ever got another Nexus but that’s highly unlikely.

        1. The development community has been great with the Verizon GNex. It’ll make my last 8 months with Verizon tolerable.

    2. That and the whole VZW has to meet a iphone quota every quarter which is probably why they are pushing the staff to sell it as much as possible instead of Android OEMs. A reverse from before where they pushed people to Android to get a bonus.

        1. Apple is ridiculous with their terms the whole reason Verizon passed on them with the first iphone. Same reason sprint decided to put the iPhone on virgin just to meet the sales I’m surprised T-Mobile fell into the trap I’m sure we will see it packaged in a monthly 4g in Walmart shelves and in metro stores so they can meet the number of sales. Apple needs to just go away.

      1. мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

        I agree with everything that the
        people above me are saying. I am too considering jumping ship and the
        only thing holding me back is unlimited data on 4G LTE .

    3. I think that VZW is holding out on the HTC One to directly compete with iPhone. Personally, I don’t think that VZW gives a crap about Apple in the sense of owing them money. Can Apple survive if VZW decides that they will not pay or carry their iPhone? Doubt it. VZW is playing the game, and I like it.

      Of course, I left for T-Mobile to get the N4

      1. Apple could easily survive without VZW. Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. They’re also one of the most litigious companies in the world. They’d just sue VZW like they do everyone else (though that lawsuit would be justified). Why VZW ever signed a contract with sales quotas is beyond me.

        Apple certainly put themselves in a win-win situation. Good sales? They get money from customers. Bad sales? They get money from the phone carrier. No matter what, Apple’s getting paid.

        1. I am not doubting what you are saying, I don’t believe you are wrong. But what if Apple lost VZW? Yes they could go on without VZW, but their stocks would begin to crash, they would lose investors, and more. VZW would keep them in courts for years, so there would be no payout, and in the end VZW would most likely only pay a subset of what was in the contract.

          1. Begin to crash? Go look at a 1 year Apple stock chart. The decline started a year ago.

          2. Oh, I know. I watch them each day. I was stating carrying on from a breakup with VZW

          3. Apple was doing just fine without Verizon. Verizon not selling Apple hurts Verizon.

            If the next iPhone wasn’t on Verizon people would drop Verizon for a company that did. A very small subset of those people would buy a comparable android phone.

            Apple might take a small hit without Verizon but in the big picture iPhone sales wouldn’t be that greatly impacted.

          4. You need to look at the bigger picture. If Verizon dropped the iPhone, the news would spread like wildfire. This would cause a massive stock drop, and other fallout. Both companies know this, and are playing the game. It would not be a small hit for Apple. It would be HUGE.

            Russia’s 3 carriers all dropped Apple in leiu of Samsung. Apple’s overseas business is drowning. Outside of the US, they have no foothold whatsoever. China is going with Android, Korea the same, Russia will not carry iPhones on their top 3 carriers, etc…

            Apple is old and washed up. There is nothing there anymore, and that is why Verizon cannot sell iPhones.

          5. Apples stock has already crashed and burned. They are not doing well and things are getting worse for them. This article is wrong and givingthe oopposite impression of what is really going on at Verizon. Their iohone sales are shrinking and they are selling way less than was forcasted and the next quarter is looking to be even worse for Verizons Apple business.

      2. I agree about the HTC One vs. iPhone. They’ve also got a Motorola Droid (their baby) line coming out this summer, so the One will be in competition with that too. I assume they’re banking on most people ignoring the HTC One because it’s been out for so long, and pick up the newer Droids instead.

  3. People are tired of getting updates last and having their phones locked down.

    1. What asshat down voted for speaking the truth?

      1. I suppose you’ll comment again on this one because the same thing happened? Dude, at the time of this writing, you have 24 upvotes to the one downvote, and 11 to 1 on the other. Chill out.

        1. It was you! :)

  4. We android users like freedom and Verizon will never offer that if their earnings have dropped that is probably because people are not renewing their contract and jumping ship.

  5. I would be interested to see the breakdown on which iPhones sold. I’m hearing that the market is saturated with the techies who want high end phones, and the only new customers to market are less savvy and shop price over specs. It that’s true Moto X may be huge for Google.

    1. I agree, what will beatdown the over inflated prices set by Iphone or the overloaded features of touchwiz. get htc one lol, but if you need a phone that works but not at the iphone price moto x could be that. you want freedom? moto X. it will maybe be the next big thing the next wanted with the right marketing.

    2. Because all I hear is that Android sells more because the phones are free or cheap. I would like to see with Apple doing the same, if this is what the effect is.

  6. I think Verizon treats Android customers as second class when it comes to updates and they add all their bloatware to the phones. It seems with iPhone they give the updates when apple is ready to give them not after a 3 month approval process like the androids get. I know my Verizon contract is up the winter and it will be a tough decision to leave verizon and my unlimited data or stay and pay a fortune for a phone that won’t be supported as well as it should. I plan to grab a Nexus 5 and try T-Mobile and ATT before I make my decision

    1. iPhone updates are not “given” by the carriers : they’re pushed to the phones by Apple itself, worldwide, at the same time, without a mere bloatware, the Nexus way.

      1. This. Why couldn’t VZW have let Google do the same on the GNex? This is a major reason I’m leaving when my contract is up. I’ll probably get a Nexus 5 or HTC One GE from the Play Store and go to TMo.

        1. Don’t get the he one of you are going to T-Mobile unless you are in a lte market you will not be able to get hspa+ unless they have converted the towers to accept the at&t bands

          1. At this point I’m not really worried about speed of my connection ever since Verizon upgraded to LTE here I can’t even get a good 3g signal at my house anyway let alone an LTE signal. But before I switch I am going to try out T-Mobile and AT&T and see if the service is acceptable around here before I switch from my Verizon unlimited data plan or buy a full price phone on Verizon so I can keep my unlimited. I really would like to have a REAL Nexus phone that costs about half the price or less than half the price of any decent Verizon phone

        2. Remember what Verizon did to Google Wallet on Nexus? That’s the problem

      2. Exactly my point. The Nexus way doesn’t apply to Verizon even when it is a Galaxy Nexus phone. My Galaxy Nexus even came with preloaded Verizon apps on it. Then there’s the whole blocking of Google Wallet too

  7. I agree with everything that the people above me are saying. I am too considering jumping ship and the only thing holding me back is unlimited data on 4G LTE .

    1. Don’t let that be your reason. Many others have awesome speeds and are great.

      1. Nothing beats VZW in Colorado

    2. I’m on tmobile and it’s amazing

  8. Verizon customers are tiring of the bloatware, and the delays in getting hardware and software. My whole family will be ditching Verizon in September once the last of our contracted phones expires. T-Mo is definitely much better for Android users.

    1. Its just a shame that tmobiles network sucks. Sure you may have a good suburban area but you travel 5 miles down the road and good luck. But hey to each tier own.

      1. Tmo is has been great for me, works great around the city and we spend the weekends at the lake about 2 hours from any major city and get solid 3g and solid 3g for the entire drive. I think people that bash Tmobile dont have tmobile and only go off what a few select people say. just my opinion. Try and keep in mind, just because tmo may not be great in your specific area, its fantastic is alot of other ones.

        1. I get stuck with 2g while driving around parts of Austin. Thank god I was only using the prepaid SIM.

      2. I’ve been using T mobile for a long time and I’ve not really experienced what you describe, so it really just depends on where you live.

      3. I’m not sure that’s the case around here. One of my manager’s has a TMo HTC One and it gets great reception deep inside the building and out in the sticks where he lives too.

        Couple that with the fact that most of the day most of the family’s in in a wifi zone anyway, where we tend to use GrooveIP + Google Voice and I think we’ll be okay trying out TMo for a while.

      4. 10 year t-mobile customer. Just switched to Verizon. Service was great, the fake 4g was typically faster than the areas LTE offerings on other carriers. I opted for the free work phone though and got the S4

      5. Tmobile needs a lower band. Sprint is just now rolling out 800Mhz so will leave Tmobile in the dust coverage wise.

      6. I left VZW for T-Mo to get the N4, and I love T-Mo. No issues, I get the same coverage, and I never get dropped calls. The speeds are fast (not as fast as LTE, but not awful), and I get all my updates. I think the reason VZW is selling more iPhones is because Android users are moving onto better pastures with better carriers

        1. You may have a point.. Since the article deals with percentages it may be the case where the total number of verizon activations is lower than in the past but the share of that for iPhone is larger owing to Android users moving off to other carriers for better plans. It would be nice to see articles post comparisons of both percentage and total over 2-3 periods.

      7. It all depends on where you live maybe one day t-mobile will have the motivation to cover as much a the Big V but T-mobile has to find sources to do so t-mobile just bought metro sooo t-mobile is doing something about it

    2. Yep. I’m planning on switching to T-Mobile when my contract is up in December. Tired of the ridiculously expensive plans and locked-up phones Verizon is offering.

  9. Not surprising, they’ve really been lacking on flagships lately. You got the galaxy s4, and the s3 before it but then they never had a true one series phone, and they have been taking their time on getting the One, and the droid line hasn’t had anything significant for a while. Other than the galaxies, you’ve had a bunch of phones with outdated specs and oses that probably won’t ever get any further updates, and speaking of updates, they are the worst at supporting their phones

  10. I also think that Verizon’s contract with Apple has a lot to do with it. Verizon needs to sell a whole lot of iPhones to meet their quota with Apple. So as an executive for Verizon what would you do? Offer store managers incentives to sell the iPhone. Store managers then tell their floor people, “Hey push the iPhone to customers.” Just a thought.

    1. And that is exactly how the corporate world works. Don’t sell the customers the best phone for their needs, sell the devices that you have to get rid of.

  11. Maybe because Verizon’s Android selection sucks?

    1. My thoughts exactly!

    2. And their plans.

  12. Verizon may also be pushing iPhones over Android right now to avoid owing Apple $14 billion due to contractual obligations.


  13. I’ll be the one to say it: Android sucked for a really long time. Many people bought “Droids” 4 years ago and became jaded by the comparatively laggy, uneven, clunky experience.

    Today, in my opinion, Android is finally a better product overall on many phones. However, we all know this wasn’t always the case. Even today, “budget” phones are still giving Android a bad rep.

  14. I don’t know why anyone would still hold on to Verizon just because of unlimited data. It maybe I. I’m mistaken but doesn’t Verizon throttle you after you reach a certain cap (like AT&T). What good is unlimited data when speeds are middling? At least thus is how I felt with At&t

    1. I’ve never been throttled by Verizon and I’ve had months were i’ve used almost 30GB of data. And its not just the unlimited data that gets people to hold on, its that their coverage is far better than anyone else’s.

      1. 64gig so far this month for me

        1. How is that possible? Do u stream movies 24/7? What are u doing to use that much? Ever use WiFi?

          1. You pay for a data plan it defeats the purpose to use wifi and uses more battery btw

          2. If I’m using WiFi its usually BC I’m home so I plug in regardless BC I have the RAZR which has a terrible battery. I also use it to keep my data down BC vzw contracts are ridiculously high. The price I pay for having the best service in my area unfortunately. I have priced my contract and I save money by sharing a plan with my gf vs each of us having the unlimited plans. I guess I don’t use my phone nearly as much as others. Which to me is hard to believe considering I never put it down and have always been this way. Lol

  15. “how many new activations it is getting from Android users who didn’t have the option to get an iPhone before.” Umm what? they for awhile had that option this is not a valid viable question today.

  16. Maybe because they overplayed the droid branding…

  17. Just like how iOS users don’t mind getting screwed, so it is with Verizon customers, they rather get screwed than possibly losing signal in some remote corner of the State

  18. I expected the iPhone sales to continue to rise on Verizon up until the iPhone 4 had been out 2 years. By that time all the Android/other contracts would be up and that people that wanted to switch would have. I think it would be pretty stable now.

    Honestly Verizon is the worst US carrier to use with Android, they get the worst phones with locked bootloaders and seem to take longest before upgrades.

    Oh how I still dream of a day where there was an Android phone as good as the iPhone on ALL carriers for $199 on contract that got upgrades directly from Google. Yea, I’m basically asking for a high quality Nexus subsidized on all carriers, not that unsubsidized glass piece of garbage with no LTE from LG.

  19. As someone who is involved in managing cellular service for a large enterprise customer, I would offer the following observations:

    1) In light of Verizon’s currently unrivaled network coverage and (IMHO) business-friendly contractual options, large enterprise seems to favor Verizon presently.

    2) Also in my personal experience, it appears that large enterprise IT prefers the security and out-of-the-box user friendliness of the iPhones over Android. I know this is debatable, but in my experience, IT prefers to work with iPhones to avoid the sorts of issues that can crop up with less tech-savvy users having access to side-loading of apps and other things that can get them into trouble.

    These two factors seem to add up to a slight edge for Apple on the carrier of choice for big business. I know the points are debatable, and I personally use Android so please don’t suspect me of being an Apple fanboy. These are just my observations of the current environment.

  20. I left Verizon… taking my Android love with me (along with 3 other android phones)

  21. It’s because VZW passes on so many of the good Android phones. Had they launched the HTC One earlier numbers would be different.

  22. I’d rather massage my anus with the business end of a loaded shotgun then get an iPhone.

  23. Android forever, don’t like iPhone or apple

  24. Its because Verizon has not had a major phone in the last 2-3 quarters with the exception of the S4.

  25. The other thing that every article commenting on VZ iPhone sales seems to forget is the contract. In order to carry iPhones carriers have to sign a contract with Apple to buy a certain amount. And as it has been seen, the requirement is ridiculously high (recall the estimated $23 billion short VZ is expected to be). Also recall Apple is/was being investigated by the EU for strong arming small carriers who have to spend all their marketing money on iPhone because they can’t afford to not sell all the iPhones they were required to buy. This is why you see so many iPhone commercials with carrier/retailer branding. Apple essentially gets free marketing.

    It’s been nice to finally see some HTC commercials that are carrier/retailer branded.

  26. Here’s what I don’t get. How are some of u using 8-20 gigs of data a month!?! I have my gf, mom and I plus a tablet on a 6gig shared plan and NEVER go over 5gigs. Had unlimited b4 on mine and my gfs then switched when adding my mother and the tablet. I now pay the same as I did b4 with the two lines. I use navigation m-f bout 2hrs a day and music apps roughly anywhere between 4-7hrs as well. All on 4g. Also do 3-5 hrs daily of bs web browsing, emails, Facebook etc.. Only use WiFi at home. Gf use is pretty basic, Facebook, email, some Pandora.. Mom is a non factor, barely uses 20-40 min a day. So what are u doing with ur phone to use that much data??!!?!??

    1. I use on average over 10gbs at minimum easy, I stream movies, play candy crush level 159 currently, I have to back up data and restore them, I stream Music, I constantly search the internet, I watch multiple youtube videos, A lil bit of satellite view navigation here and there. I almost never use wifi when you have fast t-mobile speeds its easy to rack up big numbers though t-mobile has been working on their network so its not as high as it should be which is ultimately good. You probably don’t have that fast of a constant connection to be racking up the storage nor do you really have apps constantly updating.If you use your phone a lot you could easily rack up 10gbs.

  27. Well, what else do we expect when Verizon putting those large and ugly branding plus delaying android phones for over 2-3 months?

  28. I think people should first ask how many AT&T iPhone customer switched to Verizon. I know quite a few iPhone users who switched to Verizon from AT&T when their contracts expired. The other question is how many Android users switched from Verizon to another carrier.

    I am a former Verizon customer who switched to T-Mobile. Why? Verizon is not Android friendly. I had a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It was a great phone hampered by Verizon. First, Verizon does not allow Google Wallet on a Nexus phone (even T-Mobile allows the Nexus 4 to run Google Wallet). What kind of crap is that Verizon. Google applications blocked on a Nexus phone for no good reason. Yes, Verizon tried to come up with some crappy explanation, but everyone knows the real reason was they are involved with ISIS a competitive product to Wallet. Second, the timeliness of Verizon updates to the Galaxy Nexus was unacceptable. Third, Verizon is just too damn expensive. It was cheaper for me to switch to T-Mobile even with paying the early termination fee. I have found T-Mobile service more dependable where I live and work than Verizon.

    Also, it makes more sense to not run on Verizon’s network because it is CDMA. GSM & Android make more sense together. For example, how many Nexus devices from the Google Play Store work on Verizon (or Sprint, for that matter)? None, but the Nexus 4 & 7 work on both T-Mobile & AT&T. How do I get it to work? I just take the SIM card out of my existing device and put it into the new phone and it works.

  29. I think when iOS 7 is released, Android sales will pick up.

  30. I’m actually looking to ditch my iPhone for an Android phone. many reasons, mine alone.

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