Verizon iPhone: More Apps in More Places

Today’s announcement that the iPhone is (finally) coming to Verizon Wireless kicks off the “real” battle between Android and iOS.

Why now? Why not earlier?

Part of the difficulty in establishing Android’s increasing marketshare stems from the fact that Android is available on all networks, on hundreds of different phones, in hundreds of different configurations. It’s like the Cylons… or the Borg. Power in numbers.

The difference is that iPhone is a single entity. When you buy one, you get the same one everyone else has. And until today, it’s only been available on AT&T in the US. Yet iPhone’s still systematically kicked ass, quarter after quarter. It’s caused millions of people to switch to an inferior network. And it’s changed so much about the industry– from Visual Voicemail to the App Store– all while tethered to a company (AT&T) who can’t get it right no matter how many chances they get.

vzw-iphone-600-rme.jpgAll of it is about to change.

With Verizon (America’s #1 carrier) supporting the iPhone, the pent-up demand alone promises to overwhelm app developers. The increase in reliability will push corporate IT departments towards the iPhone. More importantly, the boom in app sales means more revenue for Apple, and more entrenchment in the iOS/App Store/iTunes ecosystem. The more people buy into the system, the more essential the system becomes (see Microsoft Office, Windows as examples).

Android may be more visible someday–due to its massive numbers, the fact that it costs nothing, and the fact that it’s “good enough” for many users– but Apple’s move to Verizon is a big deal. It means that, for once, the fight is on (mostly) level ground. And it means that there’s never been a better time to be an iOS developer.


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