The smartphone market is a totally different beast to what the cell phone market used to be five years ago, and it was Apple that changed all that. AT&T has dominated this market with the iPhone 4, but next year we expect to see domination by Verizon’s iPhone 5 and Android phones. We know that Big Red has had the fourth-generation iPhone since January, but sales were not as they had hoped due to the fact that the handset was already 6 months old, and consumers waiting for the white version.
When Apple launches the iPhone 5 – most probably September – they will be able to shift units in the high numbers that they expected for the current version. However, you also have to take into consideration that Verizon has been the biggest supporter of Google Android since the start, and the number of models being released each year is relentless.
AT&T also support Android, but not in the way that Big Red does; instead they decided to become a premium partner to Windows Phone 7 – stop laughing. 9 to 5 Mac states that both iOS and Android has the duopoly on the market, with Nokia and RIM not having the right tools to fight back.
To further bolster this, MMI Research Institute conducted a study saying that Android had grown by a massive two-thousand percent over the year, who now hold 57 percent of the market. Apple currently has 38 percent of the market, which isn’t bad when you consider how many iOS devices there are compared to Android.
The future is certainly bright for Android, Apple and Verizon for 2012, but where does this leave AT&T? They will still have the iPhone, but they need to increase their Android handsets, as well as their service – although they have just become the world’s most valuable telecom brand.