The Impact of the Verizon iPhone

The Impact of the Verizon iPhone

Since the first generation iPhone was announced in January of 2007, availability in the US market has been limited to AT&T Wireless. At some point during development, Apple reached out to both AT&T and Verizon. At the time, it was AT&T who accepted Apple’s terms. Unlike past mobile phones, the iPhone would be different. It would not have carrier branding, nor would it be filled with what consumers call “bloatware”. at the minimum, that was Apple’s position when negotiating and Verizon passed on the iPhone. This worked out great for AT&T, who had exclusivity on the iPhone for over three years. Now comes information that the exclusivity has ended and a Verizon iPhone is on the horizon. This will have a major impact for both consumers and the wireless industry.

For consumers in the US, they will see positive benefits from competition between two major wireless carriers. AT&T removed their unlimited data plan this past year, leaving customers with more expensive and restrictive plans. Verizon will reportedly offer an unlimited data plan with the iPhone. The consequence of competing plans will likely average lower costs and increased sets. Some iPhone customers have complained that AT&T does not offer service on par with Verizon. For those in an area with less than optimal coverage can opt to switch to Verizon. Sure consumers always had the option to switch wireless carriers, but they could not use the iPhone on a network other than AT&T. For some, this really wasn’t any sort of choice. A large percentage of current iPhone users would choose their phone over carrier preference.

There are a large part of customers who are not currently iPhone owners due to their carrier loyalty. Verizon is the number one wireless carrier in the US and for good reason. They offer the best coverage and call quality. With the growth of smartphones, this group has moved to either BlackBerry or Android platforms. For these current Verizon customers, their past smartphone of choice was based on carrier and not preference. With the Verizon iPhone coming, you can expect plenty of movement within Verizon, with customers jumping to the iPhone platform.

Some experts believe that carrier loyalty resulted in tremendous growth for platforms like Android that would not exist if the iPhone had been obtainable on Verizon. Manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, RIM and Samsung have had a field day generating new customers. While there was competition between these manufacturers, they never had to deal with eight hundred pound gorilla known as the iPhone. They also had the luxury of selling their phones on the largest US wireless carrier.

The release of the Verizon iPhone will have meaningful effects on consumers, wireless carriers and mobile handset manufacturers. By waiting over three years, the hype will be at an all time high. Apple and Verizon have the most to gain from this partnership. Phone manufacturers will be forced to changed their strategies. They nevertheless have a decided advantage by having the ability to sell phones across all four major carriers. It’s likely they will compete on price offering lower cost phones. in spite of of your smartphone preference, the set afloat of the Verizon iPhone will likely provide consumers with greater choice, increased sets and lower costs.

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