Home' LAPTOP Magazine : March 2011 Contents AT&T
rier will lose a sizable number of subscribers in
the short term as a result of the iPhone finding
a second home. Users are sick of dropped calls
and not being able to download data at critical
times. However, the long-term damage might
not be severe.
First, there are a lot of people still in the
middle of the contracts they signed when
the AT&T iPhone 4 debuted. Second, AT&T is
finally putting its full weight behind Android.
At CES, the carrier introduced a flagship
Android phone in the Motorola Atrix 4G,
and it was easily one of the most innovative
devices at the show. The carrier’s Google
phone selection has been so weak thus far
that only 2 percent of Android impressions
were measured from this network in Janu-
ary, compared to 55 percent for Verizon.
Now AT&T is pushing Android—hard—and
it will need to in order to limit the impact of
losing iPhone exclusivity.
The big question, though, is not whether
AT&T can promote an OS that’s already
doing well with other carriers. It’s whether
the provider can restore its reputation. AT&T
says its HSPA+ network (which it is calling
4G) is fully deployed, and it will roll out LTE
starting mid-year. How well the 20 promised
4G devices work will determine the lasting
impact from the Verizon iPhone fallout.
I predict that new smart phone shoppers for
Verizon Wireless will choose iOS over Android
by a margin
of at least 3
to 1 during
months after launch. The excitement will just
be too great. And given that Verizon Wireless
sells the most Android phones of any U.S.
carrier, Google will definitely feel the pain.
But one can’t ignore the momentum Android
already has in the market. Plus, Android will
be first out of the gate with 4G phones for
Verizon, including models with faster dual-core
processors. Where Android needs to step its
game is its user interface (which ex-webOS
guru Matias Duarte is working on feverishly),
premium content, and a better selection of
games. In other words, the Android ecosystem
needs to catch up with the rapidly evolving
hardware and network speeds.
Sprint and T-Mobile
If only Sprint and T-Mobile had AT&T’s problem.
It has the hottest selling phone, and they
don’t. Could that change? Possibly. But in the
its solid lineup of Android handsets and
upcoming tablets such as the BlackBerry
PlayBook. And T-Mobile will have to do a
better job of convincing the masses that its
4G network is up to snuff. If anything, the
Verizon-Apple relationship might accelerate
the process of Sprint and T-Mobile tying the
knot. Of course, they’ll need to iron out a
coherent network strategy, but they may
not have a choice.
Oh boy. It’s
customers have been choosing Android over
BlackBerry for months, and now it’s all but
guaranteed that it will become the number
three platform on Big Red. Based on some
info leaked the week of the Verizon-Apple
to the Torch and Storm with faster processors
and higher-res screens are on the way. But
unless RIM finds a way to squeeze its slick new
BlackBerry Tablet OS from QNX into at least
some of these handsets, shoppers may very
well give these devices a thumbs down.
HP hosted a big event on February 9th to unveil
the first webOS products from the company
since it acquired Palm. And since the stakes
went on sale the very next day didn’t exactly
help HP’s cause. Talk about screwing with
someone else’s news cycle. I still have
high hopes for webOS, but it just got more
challenging for the platform to stand out
in the crowd.
Did you hear that Windows Phone 7 devices
were coming to Verizon Wireless? You could
be excused for letting that news slip through
lot we like
crosoft’s revamped mobile OS, it’s still
lacking features any modern platform
should have. And now that Verizon Wireless
will have Android and iPhone, it’s likely a
lot of people will simply ignore WP7 when
shopping at the nation’s largest provider.
Although price cuts on AT&T have probably
helped, that alone won’t be enough to move
The Verizon iPhone effecT
Why this much-anticipated device will put the hurt on much more than AT&T.
It can’t do voice and data simultaneously. It doesn’t have 4G. And you can’t use it overseas. So why is the Verizon Wireless
iPhone 4 such a big deal? Because it’s heading to Verizon Wireless, that’s why. This is the network that established its
reputation on quality. The one that just added 16 new cell sites in the New York City area alone to fortify its coverage
before millions of data-hungry subscribers drop AT&T like a bad habit. In a survey conducted just before Verizon Wireless
and Apple made their big announcement, 16 percent of AT&T subscribers said they would switch to Verizon Wireless
if they began selling the iPhone. That doesn’t seem like a ton, but another 23 percent was undecided. Here’s how I
see the Verizon iPhone impacting the major mobile players.
Pain MeTer (out of 5)
Laptop | March 2011
NeWS & TReNdS
Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer directs LAPTOP’s online and print editorial content. He has been covering mobile and wireless technology for more than a decade.
Read his weekly SpoonFed column at www.laptopmag.com/spoonfed, and follow @mspoonauer on Twitter.
by Mark Spoonauer
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