Verizon iPhone Needed: Apple loses market share to Android

By Peter Chubb - Mar 6, 2010

Just a few months back the Apple iPhone had been enjoying a healthy lead in the cell phone market, but now figures suggest that they are beginning to lose their market share to – Google Android. Although the iPhone is still the top selling phone, a constant barrage of new Android devices, such as the Nexus One and Droid, has hurt its lead.

We can take two things from this, the first is that Apple are still doing an amazing job in the market – as they only have one handset – and the other is that a Verizon Wireless version o f the iPhone is needed. The Inquirer reports that Apple took a huge blow at Mobile World Congress in February, as Google are to launch a host of new Android powered handsets in 2010.

They then ask the question – are iPhone sales in a free fall – one that is certainly hard to answer at this time. Android’s market share grew by 8.3 percent in February, taking them to an overall 15.2 percent share in the market. Apples still has a healthy 63.7% share in the cell phone market but – a drop is still a drop.

Do you think a Verizon iPhone will be enough to stem this drop in sales, or do you think the iPhone 4G is needed now?

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Also See: Verizon iPhone iOS 5 Update via Wireless, Top of Your Wishlist?

  • Justin L

    if i had 3 words of advice for steve jobs, the apple company, and apple fans, it would be "choice is good"

    i mean, for those who happen to find apple's offerings to be a perfect fit for you, you're very lucky to have such a good relationship with a company, and i'm not arguing that what you like is wrong

    but one size does not fit all, we're not all the same, it's ok for other people to have other needs, and on your device, it would be nice if you could choose:

    to have a physical keyboard
    to have useful external buttons that you can use in your pocket
    to deal with "filename hell" so you can do stuff that requires a filesystem
    to have your appstore experience include porn and other uglies if that's your style
    to trust third-party sources of software
    to run alternatives to the built-in software, like firefox for example
    to have a choice of carriers
    to load music and videos using any software you want
    to view any/all sites regardless of the technology they like to develop with
    to have some meaningful options for a "look and feel" that's right for you

    and for developers:

    to develop in any language you want
    to develop with any IDE you want
    to develop on any operating system you want
    to develop on any brand of computer you want
    to look at the platform's source code
    to be able to share your software with friends, family, and the general public without going through apple

  • Rusty

    I have been a long time verizon customer who has always bragged on my ability to have coverage and great service. My friends all have iphones, I have a ipod touch. Through using theirs and my device I have fallen in love with how the things just plain work. I'm hard headed and would not switch a couple of months ago when my 2 yrs came up. I went shopping and fell for the Droid trick. Don't get me wrong…."Droid Does, " but Droid Does Suck. It will do everything the apples do, but just not well. Its glitchy, slow, lags and then performs 88 unwanted tasks in a row. I call people on accident all the time. It does everything but nothing well. I hate it. So much that I am about to cancel my new 2 yr contract and go get the just average AT&T service. So…in saying all that, I think verizon and apple are both missing out. My loyalty to coverage and service might end real soon. The Droid is that bad. To me its like comparing a mac to a pc…there is no comparison. One works and the other is crap. Never did like Mac users' "appletude" but now i get it. For those who refuse to support apple products just because of the trendiness, or snootiness….get over it. I'm trying and their products are helping me. Its just the dang treehuggers that use em.

  • Mr. M

    You can use the net and make calls with verizon its called wifi.

  • camelsnot

    I can make calls and surf the web on the Droid. i tried it the same day that stupid deceptive commercial came out from ATT. It's a lie the iSheep love to harp on with no real vailidity. I know other friends using similiar Android smartphones w/Verizon and Sprint that can do the same thing. Verizon doesn't need the iSheep… thank god.

    I forecast Jobs will die over the next six months and it'll take some time for the iMasses to come to grips with that. The iStock will plummet too. People don't realize that Apple is more than Jobs. He didn't create OSX. He didn't create the iPhone. His developers did. Also, developers OUTSIDE of Apple came up with some of the designs and features for the iphone. It's very typical in this industry to contract out to design firms for prototyping of electronics like this.

  • Dan

    I love apple and the iphone. I even switched to at&t from verizon because I was so convinced it was worth it. Three months later and after submitting the at&t network to my traveling needs I discovered their network is horrible. I went to visit my hometown just 40 minutes west of new york city and I couldn’t get any 3g coverage and hell I had to dance around an open field just to get a signal! I love the iphone and it broke my heart when I decided to go back to verizon but it boiled down to cost. Why should I pay over $100 a month for service when I’m not really even getting it? I think many people look at their phones from a cost vs quality perspective. If they are going to pay x amount than they will expect x amount of service in return, not .5x service which is what happens with at&t. I currently use a blackberry tour. Is it better than the iphone? No but I get what I need from it and the service on verizon. So apple if you want more customers by all means sign up with verizon, if not that’s cool too. Just keep in mind that the average american won’t be putting out for service they can’t be guaranteed

  • Bart

    All the digging at Apple and the iPhone simply means they are doing better than the competition.

  • Layan

    I think that Verizon needs to get the iphone ASAP, I would line up for that! I like Verizons service and do not want to switch to AT&T.

  • nnonix

    Fact: There is no way that AT&T can build out their 3G (or better) coverage in time for Apple to compete with Verizon/Android on a level playing field. While it might be true that AT&T is 'marginally' faster in major metros at the moment, Verizon has 3G coverage covering towns as small as 1600 people. The ability for a person to travel throughout their area and beyond, in and out of metro areas, while having access to the same high-speed data and call quality is a HUGE advantage the iPhone hasn't, doesn't and won't enjoy for a very long time.

    Prior to Android there wasn't a smartphone with mass appeal. A person could buy an iPhone in one of the MANY non-3G areas and still be cool. Now that person has to sit next to someone with a Droid who can do everything they do but gets 3G almost everywhere. Suddenly their iPhone not as cool anymore.

  • P3T3

    Just wait until June, and you will see a 4th gen. iPhone that will eclipse the DROIDs and BERRYs. Verizon won't get an iPhone until they get their LTE working, maybe two years from now. By then, AT&T will have their GSM LTE working too, which the iPnone will thrive on. For now, Apple won't bother with making an already outdated CDMA phone just for VZ to use for a year or so.

  • Svx

    I'm reading this ón my iPhone 3GS – but I want an Android – thats about it.

  • Walt Capers

    Apple's Achilles-heel is its business model — control everything to keep the user experience consistent. There model works when you are the first to market, but history has shown open-platforms dominate in the end. This is history repeating itself — PC verses MAC all over again. You think they would have learned by now. In the end, the IPhone will be a marginalized piece of hardware used by an exclusive few.

  • Simply not correct! The iPhone is not in free fall it is Android that is in free fall. The prices are falling fast, and they are a generation behind now and will be much worse off when iPhone 4.0 is out.

    Android and Apple do not have do not have the market share quoted – that number might be US smartphone numbers not cell phone numbers. More people upgrade from Androids to iPhones than are still buying Droids! Anyone who has used on will tell you it is not an iPhone in terms of usability.

    Quoting the Inquirer as a source – the guys who call apple the toy fruit company – is not a very good reporting.

    Android's growth is primarily coming out of Windows Mobil. There are more than 70 million iPhones sold at the current rate Google will have to wait for at least 4 years to get there, and they will roll off as the Verizon hold out demand is over (about 3 months).

    And once there are enough Android phones are out there, the openness will kill it as it will be hacked everywhere. Openness is not a good quality for a consumer device.

  • Simply not correct! The iPhone is not in free fall it is Android that is in free fall. The prices are falling fast, and they are a generation behind now and will be much worse off when iPhone 4.0 is out.

    Android and Apple do not have do not have the market share quoted – that number might be US smartphone numbers not cell phone numbers. More people upgrade from Androids to iPhones than are still buying Droids! Anyone who has used on will tell you it is not an iPhone in terms of usability.

    Quoting the Inquirer as a source – the guys who call apple the toy fruit company – is not a very good reporting.

    Android's growth is primarily coming out of Windows Mobil. There are more than 70 million iPhones sold at the current rate Google will have to wait for at least 4 years to get there, and they will roll off as the Verizon hold out demand is over (about 3 months).

    And once there are enough Android phones are out there, the openness will kill it as it will be hacked everywhere. Openness is not a good quality for a consumer device.

  • Jim

    Say this 10 times in the mirror folks – "Apple does not care about market share" Never have and never will. So you can keep talking about how Apple is a failure because they are losing market share to the Android OS, but they don't care, they only care about sales, thats it. Secondly, if you wanted to compare their market share, compare them with other handset makers, why compare with an OS, it is the handset makers like HTC and Motorola that they are competing with. Third, they are not going to build a version of their phone to work on Verizon's network, seeing how it is stone-aged and the rest of the world doesn't use that technology. Apple would lose too much money building a phone to work strictly on their network. So, if you really want to know who is failing you, point to Verizon, they went with a globally non-standard network. Apple does not care about market share, once you get that through your skull, you might start to understand why they are so successful.

  • Milind

    It all boils down to whether you prefer the simple, slick, consistent user experience on the iPhone and are willing to overpay for lower quality hardware.

    The Android OS has long since eclipsed the iPhone OS. The hardware didn’t catch on till the Droid. Now with the Drois, Nexus One, HTC Desire, HTC Legend, Sony Ericsson Xperia etc coming in, the hardware too has eclipsed the iPhone. The original iPhone lacked many things but made up with some some cool things. Since then, it’s lastly rested on its laurels while the Android’s gone from strength to strength.

    It’s just a matter of time till more people find out about the Android and the many phones out there. There will be some who will prefer the iPhone, but I suspect that most will go with the Android. It’s difficult to go back to an inferior user experience once you have got used to something better. And the Android apps are more compelling and the overall Android user experience is now better than the iPhone user experience.

  • Robin

    Apple: “If you can’t beat them, sue them…”

  • sleep

    Wow darkness… how old are you 15? You obviously don't remember what phones were like before the iPhone. Those of us who endured Nokia and Sony/Erikson's attempts at making a palm like phone know the truth. You can promise functionality, but to start a revolution you have to deliver and in a way that everyone can actually use it. I still remember people telling me that their Nokia blah blah blah had this and that and the iPhone didn't. Did they have a clue how to use it? No. When pressed they could only show you were things were, but they really didn't understand any of it.
    Even worse the core features like playing music look horrible and the user interface is even worse. How many of you tooting google and nokia phones have to restart your phone at least once a day? I'd be willing to be all you. In fact I'd be willing to bet you have to restart 2-3 times a day (-: Soooooo. Try to remain smug in the fact that you have gotten exactly what you paid for, cheap shoddy software and hardware that promises the moon, but hardly delivers. A reviewer of the nexus one thought that the camera with more megapixels and flash would blow the iPhone out of the water… it didn't happen. In fact the iPhone was taking better pictures in general. Why? Anyone can build a camera and anyone can buy the components to make it 3,4,5 or 12 megapixels. What makes a camera great? The software and the working of the software with the hardware. After that the user interface needs to be intuitive so that the end user can actually use the camera to it's fullest ability.
    Google and Nokia still don't understand that and probably never will. Hope you can finish reading this without having your phone crash again.

  • Darkness

    I would like to say screw Apple and Steve Jobs. They, and Jobs, think that they invented the smartphone, or cell phone market. They only introduced a great device, at the time. Once they had a hold, it was good, for a time. Then came the dictatorship. Then came Android. Now that they have competition, they are trying to do whatever they can to try to claim what they think they created, and are actually destroying the open decision making for consumers.

  • chukee

    Had the iphone and the ATT crappy coverage and i must say that even if it does come to verizon i wont buy it. One of the features i have to have is multi task. And no….not that so called crippled down multi task that jobs gives you…and for randdog…you are right…i cant make a phone call while on the web,……But at least i can make a phone call when i need to…..try doing that with ATT….there might be an app for that

  • NotTellinYou

    This is more from people, especially the Anti-Anything-Apple fanboys, who seriously don't have a clue. Apple is all about the user experience as they define it. it's about consistency and the business model that they believe will work best for them. Apple is not a person, it's a BUSINESS, and they run VERY well regardless of the comments here. These are the people that hated Apple when it was down and maybe all the more when it's doing well. They are the same people that said the iPod would fail, the switch to OS X would kill Apple, or the iPhone was too expensive and without a keyboard useless. Today they claim the iPad is DOA and Apple can't live without Verizon.

    The fact is Verizon has been, and is still, all about control. They want to add their logo to the case, to the OS, they want a cut of any sales, they want to restrict the phone's capabilities in order to sell other "value add" plans. Have forgotten the crippled phones from Verizon? Apple made a business decision, Verizon made theirs, and that's where we are! Apple is not going to change the iphone to suit Verizon. Anyone that thinks that doesn't know Apple. They will never allow one version of the iPhone to run on Verizon and one on AT&T. Apple is doing just fine. People think that somehow it has to dominate but it doesn't. Apple wants to just continue making great products. Let Android become that mess that is the Windows PC world. Heck, they're already there! With different screen sizes, versions of the OS, phone features etc. if that's what some people want, FINE! Apple is cool with not selling to them. There are enough other people that do care. My mom, 65 years old loves her iPhone. She NEVER would have bought a smart phone before the iPhone, and that's why we need Apple in this business, but we don't need Apple or anyone else dominating it! We need good healthy competition and some great products from a number of companies. IN the meantime Apple does not need Verizon if that in turn means the iPhone is just another phone.

  • aaa

    I have about a dozen friends who bailed on AT and T cause they couldnt take the awful service and coverage any longer…and they loved their iphones…I can also say that EVERYONE I know who is with Verizon – would buy an iphone IMMEDIATELY if it can to us….apple would make a fortune and AT and T would take a beating in my opinion

    Verizon is the rolls royce of cell phone service- AT and T is the hundai

  • Dan

    Apple's business model is to make money on the content (apps, video, music, and now ebooks) and the hardware to a lesser degree. The subsidies from the cellular markets have obviously helped Apple, but keep in mind that the iPhone success swelled AT&T profits by nearly 50% – this from one of the world's largest companies. Verizon made a calculated business decision to not take the Apple contract. For Google, it is all about search and they learned from Microsoft that the user interface controls the search. Google makes no money on Android, but it does cement the search relationship to the device. With Apple, they run the risk of being replaced as the search engine. Andoid is going to be a success. It will probably eclipse Windows-based phones and already has beating Palm. But phones are consumer devices and simple tends to triumph. Android's strength of being on multiple phones also means that each hardware manufacturer makes minor mods – the experience is not identical from phone to phone (which is what hardware vendors want/need). Android is dominated by male buyers and will likely remain strong, but my educated guess is that Apple has the better opportunity to be the dominant player. The interchangeable aspect of the iPad, if successful, will give them an even bigger advantage, but I do expect Google and Microsoft to fight back and try to prevent Apple from being even more disruptive than they are today.

  • Dan

    Ok. I see that the religious wars have spilled over to the phones. The Google and Apple models are very different and I give credit to Google for realizing that Apple is the bigger threat than Microsoft. Apple has created a platform that breaks the Windows monopoly and if they are successful with the iPad, Microsoft may have trouble keeping their dominant position. Apple's approach of controlling the ecosystem is identical to what happened with game consoles (they watched Atari 'open' the platform and lose the industry), but it also have the benefit of keeping the infrastructure simple for the masses.

  • Mrwirez

    I hope VZW Does NOT get an iPhone. I love the openness of Android and I despise Apple, Steve jobs, and their expensive proprietary ecosystem. Eff Apple..

  • Ingo

    Yes, Apple must cut costs to survive, and compete with low prices. That is how they came to their current position. Being inventive and creating the next big was never their style, and there would of course be no future for them going down that road. Nope, Apple should just try to copy everyone else, and do it cheeper. Indeed. No?

  • ZUKI

    If verizon would have had the iPhone last year, I would have jumped on it. Even concidered switching over to AT&T. But once I saw the Droid, forget it. I love this phone. Android OS all the way. Things should only get better from here.

  • jbelkin

    Android phones are giveaway phones – market share means NOTHING. Android phones are already $99 Buy one get one free – also note that google makes ZERO on each phone sold directly. They eventually hope to make money on ads. Though of course, Moto, HTC, etc makes $100-$200 on each phone. Apple makes $600+ (counting subsidies) on EVERY PHONE so every phone sold to Apple is worth 3-6 times as much plus Apple gets all the iTunes revenue (not net but revenue is money in the bank for 30-90 days). Apple is not competing against the low end like the Android phone plus Android phones all have varying OSes so while one model might have more robust features, another one is a GEN behind – so like WIN phones, they can be lumped together but revenue wise and feature wise, they are all overthe board plus with only 200 MB usable for apps, it's hardly a real app competitor – like Nokia phones, "smartphone," in name only … and of course, now the true ownership of those features is in doubt since they seem to all Apple granted patents.

    Market share means nothing – just look at Nokia. Would you rather sell 200 million and make $20 like Nokia or sell 40 million phones and make $600 per as Apple does – do the math.

    Verizon will get an iphone when 4G/LTE is up and running in 2013 and if Verizon plays nice with Apple.

  • DaB

    I would and my company would buy iphones if they opened up to Verizon. I'm not big on the Nexus One, everything Google puts out is buggy and there app store isn't screened so its just a matter of time before a virus or something happens. Already someone put an app up that was stealing peoples bank accounts and stuff and they never warned about it. I'll stick with an iphone with thousands of safe apps, just wish they would be on Verizon!

    Also, everyone is complainging about Apple removing apps its because customers complained about the adult material and the latest wifi is because the app designers were using a private api. If apple does an update and it breaks the apps then everyone is crying then as well. Apple is just trying to keep a control so that the apps will work fine when downloaded or updates happen.

    With google its a mess like trying to find drivers for Windows OS. You need this phone to run this application or you need this hardware for that, etc. As the Android grows this is going to be a big mess in the end and people are not seeing that!

  • Randdog

    Can't recieve or make phone calls and use the web at the same time with Verizon!

  • Randog

    NO Phone calls while on the web with Verizon!

    • Dan

      I keep hearing that, yet my old blackberry curve allows me to surf the net while talking on the phone, all on the verizon network. So you’re wrong.

    • Windows Mobile You Can Also

  • I don't think anything can "save" the iPhone at this point. The "party" was great while it lasted, but between Apple pissing away goodwill and resources by suing HTC, failing to protect their brand when the "Fake Steve Jobs" called for a denial of service attack against AT&T, and their unsustainable cost structure, Apple is in a very poor strategic position.

    It's not just Android they have to worry about. They've got to worry about Nokia suing *them* and MeeGo. They're going to have to cut prices, and the only way they can do that is to cut costs. And that means layoffs.

  • James Katt

    Marketshare is NOT the primary driving factor for Apple. Apple's marching orders are:
    1. Survive. This, it has done very well since the deathwatch days before Steve Jobs came.
    2. Make the best products it can. This, it has done extremely well.
    3. Make a lot of profit. This, it has done extremely well – having $40 billion + in cash and growing. Apple is now a $200 Billion company – which will soon be larger than WalMart. With less than 3 % of the cell phone market, it makes more profit than Nokia – the largest cell phone maker. Other companies are racing to the bottom in profits. Motorola's Droid can be purchased for $50. Apple doesn't play that game.

    Apple's sales of iPhone, iPod Touch, and now the iPad (all of which make up ONE platform) are still going strong and still going up. The market may expand – accounting for a reduction in Apple's marketshare. However, no one can argue that Apple is making even MORE PROFIT than before. This is what truly matters.

    Another thing: the average cell phone users/smartphone user will throw away their phone in 2 years and it goes into the landfills for trash. The iPhone is useful for many more years. And when the user is done, he or she can simply sell it to a very healthy market for used iPhones. Thus, the installed base for the iPhone keeps on getting larger. This increases Apple's profits since these users will be buying music, video, apps, books, accessories, etc. for their iPhone.

    Interestingly, AT&T has done a lot to improve its network and it is getting bigger. A recent PC World study showed that AT&T is faster than Verizon in major cities.

    Verizon will never get the iPhone unless it joins the rest of the world in using GSM rather than CDMA technology. The iPhone cannot run on Verizon even if the Apple wanted to. Verizon has simply incompatible hardware and technology. Verizon is attempting to become compatible with a 4G network but that only works in a few cities in the U.S. So, tough luck for Verizon.

    • Eddie aviles

      Where can you get the droid for 50 bucks??

    • Marty in the Beltway

      Iphone can't run on Verizon? Iphone is running in Japan and they use CDMA. Really, the switch from GSM to CDMA is a few chips. If you think that a company that built their own cell phone from scratch can't replace the radio chips – then Karl Rove was right.

  • “a Verizon Wireless version o f the iPhone is needed.”
    Funny, it seems Verizon doesn't recognize that need. They passed on the first go-round of the iPhone, and they seem quite happy to offer other devices.
    There's a reason: Verizon, more than any other carrier, is about controlling their customers' usage. Dunno if they've changed, but they worked for years to ensure that camera phones had to pay for every single shot transferred off the phone, for every ringtone, according to whatever VZ wanted you to pay.
    Especially with the data plan that AT&T is offering for the iPad, you buy capacity and you do more or less what you want with it. Dumb pipes, very consistent with the internet model. I don't think this was their business plan 3 years ago, but they're crying all the way to the bank with the revenues they're capturing with iPhones — it's hugely profitable even if a bit disruptive in terms of having to rebuild their network.
    VZ runs a more walled garden than Apple does, by an order of magnitude.
    Oh, PS: quoting the Inquirer saying something typically snarky with no hard facts knocks down the perceived quality of this post, too.

  • Brad

    I have used several google phones because of verizon and constantly switch back to iphone. Iphone works better, looks better and for the most part has coverage wherever i need to have it.
    The iPhone experience is just plain better. The applications are better. I can do searching and things while talking on the phone. You cannot do that on Verizon. Verizon's network may be in more places but the bandwidth sucks compared to AT&T. LIke I said.. I have used the Nexus and other smart phones and always go back to the iPhone.
    Hands down a better operating system.

  • AdamC

    iPhone sales in free fall?, it isn't gonna happened so stop dreaming.

    So let see who eat crows this time next year.

  • Dobe

    Same here, living proof, buy iPhone tomorrow if it was no AT&T.
    Jobs appeared suddenly so arrogant, but didn't we see similar movies so many times in the past yet? 😉

  • SFunny

    How long do you really think Google Empire will keep this thing open? I mean come on, AT&T replaced search with Yahoo!. I'd like them to use Bing everything web related, and iTunes on it for getting music, movies, and books 🙂 The ultimate F U to the Google Empire's illusionary "free and open" OS.

    Google is really good at taking advantage if the naive .

    • Anoymous

      You have no idea about Android whatsoever.
      Google offered Yahoo to release their own Android phone replacing all Google services almost a year ago.
      Lenovo doesn't use any Google services at all.

  • jimmie

    As far as I'm conceerned Apple brought this upon themselves with their arrogance. I had an iphone for a year before I had to switch back to verizon because I couldn't take the shoddy service anymore. I waited anxiously for the iphone to come to verizon. When the Droid was released finally there was a phone that could maybe hold me over until I could get an iphone. Now after using it for 2 weeks I can't imagine going back to an iphone. I pick up my wife's ipod touch and I am reminded of how much better the Droid is. The screen is so much crisper, the colors more vibrant. And then of course there is apples dictatorship over the app store.

  • Yolkum

    I'd buy an iphone today if it was on verizon.

  • Jim

    Iphone RIP. We know have an open Gphone on a real network!

    • Brad

      You mean a real network that I can't search maps and talk on at the same time? I tried going with the google phone. It sucks dude!
      With iphone on AT&T I can get my maps and talk on the phone at the same time. I can browse the internet and talk on my phone at the same time.
      Iphone is just plain a better phone and AT&T has the bandwidth to support it. Verizon may be available in podunkville but I don't plan on going there and even if I did I would only be able to talk on the phone.. Nothing else.

      • aaron

        You obviously didn't try the Nexus One or else you'd realize it's superior in everyway. It does work on a network that has simultaneous voice and data. On top of that it also has simultaneous Email, Browser, Notepad, and Phone (with Google Voice) at the same time. (your little pretty phone doesn't do that)

        Iphone is not plain better, slower processor, 1/4 the resolution on the screen, less memory, non-changeable battery, completely closed source hardware/OS/app store.

        Iphone is like a Honda, Nexus a Lexus.

  • Potheek Aami

    Tommy above said exactly what I had in mind.

  • Tommy

    I always hoped a iPhone would come to Verizon .. I would be the first in line.
    but now i think i would pick the Nexus One over the iphone
    If i can get one before Apple sues HTC..