Why does Verizon have such a mediocre lineup of smartphones?
AT&T has the iPhone, Sprint the Palm Pre and T-Mobile has Android phones
Verizon offers BlackBerry smartphones that are considered less attractive
Verizon: We'd rather focus on our great network than on the gadgets that use it
(WIRED) -- Why does the U.S. carrier known for the best network have the worst smartphones?
Verizon wins great reviews for its network but not for its phones, which lack the buzz of other devices.
Verizon gets plaudits for its coverage and call quality, but consistently loses out to AT&T, T-Mobile and even Sprint when it comes to getting the newest high-end handsets.
"They lack the star products that their competitors have," says Avi Greengart, research director, consumer devices for Current Analysis. "They recognize they don't have compelling devices right now but feel they can make up for it with network quality."
Case in point: Last week when Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha proudly showed off the company's much-talked about first Android phone, the Cliq, he had his arms rather awkwardly around T-Mobile executive Cole Brodman.
"We never considered another carrier for this phone," Jha told Wired.com.
The Cliq, a coup for T-Mobile, reinforces the new pecking order among wireless carriers. With the iPhone 3G and 3G S, AT&T is now at the top of the pack in its ability to attract new customers based willing to switch to the carrier's network.
Sprint and T-Mobile are trying to catch up: Sprint launched the Palm Pre on its network in June and plans to introduce the HTC Hero later this year. And T-Mobile has carved out a niche as an Android-specialist with last year's launch of the first Android phone (the G1), the HTC myTouch earlier this year and now with the Moto Cliq.
As for Verizon? The company has the popular but critically panned BlackBerry Storm and the rather staid and Wi-Fi-less BlackBerry Tour. The carrier known for the best network now has the least attractive line up of smart phones.
It's a puzzling situation for Verizon. The wireless carrier has had the most customers of any cellular operator in the country since its 2008 acquisition of Alltel, and it's widely regarded as having the largest network coverage area. So the fact that it can't offer its customers better smartphones is a bit of a mystery.
Verizon's extremely conservative approach to new handsets, the company's long and rigorous testing procedures and its emphasis on the network rather than the phone has created a portfolio that's a complete buzz kill, say experts.
"Verizon doesn't have too many options," says Michael Mace, a former executive with Palm and Apple and currently a principal at strategy and marketing consulting firm called Rubicon Consulting.
"They can't get the iPhone right now and they can't take Nokia devices and start promoting them. All they can do all they can do is push the BlackBerry as hard as they can and hope for a new Motorola phone." (Nokia largely makes GSM phones, which won't work on Verizon's CDMA network, though the Finnish phone manufacturer has created a select few devices to run on the Verizon network.)
Not surprisingly, Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney says the carrier would rather focus on its network than on the gadgets that use it.
"Keep in mind that for Verizon Wireless, it isn't so much about the device as it is about the delivery," she says. "We have the nation's largest 3G network so when we offer devices on our network, customers can be assured that they will deliver as promised."
It's pretty clear that Verizon didn't deliberately choose to be the boring-but-predictable, safe but unexciting choice. In some ways, it simply got overtaken by the technology.
Over the last two years, with the launch of the Apple iPhone, the smartphone business changed rapidly. There are conflicting reports on whether Apple ever offered the iPhone to Verizon; Verizon reportedly turned it down. But with AT&T as the official partner for Apple, the smartphone business took off in a new direction.
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Verizon: Why You Can't Get A Good Phone With Them
Posted September 17, 2009 - 03:14 PM
Posted September 17, 2009 - 03:46 PM
Edited by Maddocks, September 17, 2009 - 03:46 PM.
I see faith in your eyes
never you hear the discouraging lies
broken is the promise, betrayal
the healing hand held back by deepened nail
follow the god that failed
Posted September 17, 2009 - 05:35 PM
Posted September 17, 2009 - 10:29 PM
Posted September 18, 2009 - 12:27 PM
Edited by daco_inc, September 18, 2009 - 12:27 PM.
Posted September 19, 2009 - 05:06 PM
This undying need to have the "hip" new thing is pointless.
Posted September 19, 2009 - 05:12 PM
Posted September 19, 2009 - 05:27 PM
Very rarely does a company release something that is a true step ahead in tech (especially with phones).
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