Why the Verizon iPhone is already too late [telecom]

Why the Verizon iPhone is already too late Apple should have gone to Verizon in 2009 - before Android took off

By Wilson Rothman msnbc.com updated 8/10/2010 9:05:49 AM ET

Verizon Wireless might get an iPhone this January? It's about time. Or is it too late? New reports show that Google's Android is eating the iPhone's lunch. And by clinging to AT&T exclusivity and staying clear of Verizon, Apple is effectively serving up that lunch on a shiny silver platter.

For a decade, Apple played Ice Man in a calculated dogfight of product design and marketing. It rarely made a misstep, and its successes were legendary as a result. This year, Apple has not shown itself to be so level-headed.

You could cite Antennagate or the missing white iPhone as evidence Apple is losing its cool, but these are mishaps, destined to follow previous iPhonapocalypses and Applegeddons into the void of the forgotten past. No, the biggest reason is that it miscalculated how much a prolonged exclusivity with AT&T would cost. The deal has been lucrative - God knows AT&T pays well for the privilege - but the downside has been that Apple has let a reasonable iPhone copy become the No. 1 selling smart phone platform in America.

It let this happen, by simultaneously creating a burning desire for an app-driven touch-screen smart phone, and then denying it to two-thirds of the American populace. That might be an old rant, but the detrimental result of this decision - or rather, the detrimental result of sustaining the decision for so long - are only now becoming apparent.


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