Is Verizon Single-handedly Responsible For Androids Success?

In the midst of yesterdays Verizon LTE announcement, a little ego showed on behalf of Verizon as they proclaimed themselves responsible for the success of Android. “Android really took off when Verizon got involved” is the direct quote from Verizon CTO Tony Melone and comes off pretty matter of fact. T-Mobile was the first carrier to launch Android in the US with the G1 but can Verizon really take credit for Androids current success?

T-Mobile has 14 Android handsets to Verizon’s 11 and yet, nobody would dispute that Verizon has put significantly more marketing into the Android platform than the other carriers combined. T-Mobile has run advertising campaigns for the myTouch line but they pale in comparison the Droid campaign Verizon has going on.  All to often the masses, i.e. the public at large will equate Android with “Droid,” and that shows the reach of Verizon’s marketing strategy. People will ask to see your Droid phone, even if it’s an HTC Evo because that’s the name that’s become synonymous with the platform.

To be honest, I think if anything, the iPhone is more responsible for Androids success than Verizon and their marketing. Hear me out before you pounce on the iPhone. Apple raised the stakes of the smartphone game when the first iPhone dropped. Until that point, Palm, Windows Mobile and Blackberry ruled and ruled well. Apple changed the landscape of the smartphone platform when they introduced the iPhone and suddenly Palm and Blackberry looked stale and Windows Phone looked downright slow. Apple made the smartphone desirable to the masses, especially to those who had otherwise shied away from the monthly costs associated with a Blackberry or a Treo. AT&T has enjoyed the fruits of the iPhone success; there is absolutely no argument in that regard but their network and its inconsistencies have plagued it since the very beginning. Verizon customers who longed for an iPhone like device on the Verizon network flocked to Android and for good reason, Android is as good as a platform as iOS. Android shares the same the level of smartphone “smarts” as does the iPhone. Verizon grabbed the Palm Pre and Pixi after Sprints exclusivity expired and yet, sales were slow. Android however offered a much more rounded experience that matched and in some levels exceeded what the iPhone offered.

Case in point would be that sales of Android handsets pale in comparison to the iPhone on AT&T and while its easy to argue AT&T lacks a compelling Android offering, the Captivate comes pretty close. So while Verizon thinks they can take credit for Android, the real responsibility rests with Apple for better or worse as they helped create a whole new level of the smartphone market and Verizon simply rode that wave and continues to do so.

So I pose to you, the T-Mobile customer and the TmoNews reader the question of whether or not you believe Verizon and/or the iPhone is truly responsible for the success of Android as it stands now? I’m not questioning the success of the Droid platform on Verizon, but whether or not Verizon is actually responsible, singlehandedly as they proclaimed to be for Android being the giant it is today. What say you?

I understand the possibility for a comment section that looks like a second grade classroom is likely to result from this question, but it’s an interesting question, at least to me. Please keep it clean!

MobileCrunch

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  • Anonymous

    I.ve been with TMO for 7 years. I remember the G1 when it came out. I did not see any marketing from magenta. I have my first smart phone with MTHD. This is the first major marketing that I’ve seen for a android device on magenta. When I discuss android with people they all say the same thing. What kind of droid is it? For things to change magenta must do a better marketing job. What they are doing now is a great start. What will they do next?Stay thirsty my friends!

  • whosaidwhat

    Single handed? NO.

    Significant contribution? YES, without a doubt.

    We can’t go by “what if the Iphone was on Verizon?” because no one really knows how that would have shaped things. All I know is that people were talking about the first “DROID” because of that massive advertisement Verizon introduced at the time. 5 people I work with (without knowledge of Android) out of nowhere came in with the original DROID and I had to explain to them that I have the very first Android phone (G1).

    No other Carrier has matched that kind of advertisement for an android device since the original DROID, not even Verizon.

    • Dalek

      Agreed.

      Verizon co-opted the android name and turned it into their own brand, along with officially licensing droid from lucasfilm and then following that up with an r2d2 phone. To most people i know, droid = android now.

      They didnt do anything significantly different than what tmobile tried with the Gx and myTouch brands, they just did it much better. There’s no reason it should have taken 3 years to get a G2 out (even if it was worth the wait) and while the mytouch has decent traction, it’s a chick brand to a lot of people. (That mytouch 4g chick is totally awesome though).

    • whatthe…

      Well said.

      And yet, you have to account for the impact of going from nothing to something (which is what happened when VZ began the ad-blitz for the original DROID) as opposed to going from something to something more (as has been the case ever since). Simply put, T-Mo had a potential first mover advantage with Android and dropped the ball, and VZ capitalized on it, big time.

  • http://anthonyx26.myopenid.com/ AnthonyX26

    As tough as it is to admit, Verizon is indeed single-handedly responsible for Android’s success. Prior attempts to push Android did have limited success (G1, Nexus 1, etc) but it is clear as a bell that Verizon and its unilateral “‘Droid” campaign pushed it to new levels.

    One notable aspect is that for all the marketing Verizon put into it, that very same marketing is also exactly what helped Sprint launch its Evo/Wimax. Verizon had already paved the way with public enamorment for the Android platform.

    To a certain extent, TMo is also enjoying the fruits of VZ’s marketing with its MyTouch and G2.

    • whosaidwhat

      You are right about Verizon’s campaign helping others like T-mobile. People at my job (grown men and women by the way) walked around saying “DROID!!!”. Very catchy. Others have gone out and bought Android phones from other carriers.

      I’m still not sure if Verizon can be credited for all of it though. The improvements to the OS and the nice and shinny phones introduced this year helped too. The EVO and DROID X are really nice phones even if they are too big for some.

  • Cccheel

    Verizon is definitely the reason for Android’s popularity. It’s all because of the Droid phone and its marketing. I’m on T-Mobile, but let’s face it – T-Mobile does the worst job advertising anything. No one knows anything about T-Mo except that it plays little brother to all the big boys. T-Mo may have been first to the Android table, but it didn’t take off until Verizon put put the Droid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MatthewSki Matthew Kalinowski

    i have to say t-mo get to take the credit ik the droid was the big phone that made everyone go android crazy but t-mo caught Verizon eye with the g1 and mytouch so would there be a droid if there was no g1 that is the question and would would the g2 be the same phone without the iphone if you look at videos of the original android idea it looked more like a black berry.

  • FlyingR

    Good article. I share the same beliefs/thoughts. Apple changed the phone market landscape with the Iphone, but because they limited themselves to a single carrier, they created an unmet demand with other carriers. Thus comes in Android. And yes, Verizon has moved Android from being a second class citizen to being an equal to the Iphone, thanks to their huge marketing dollars. And you are quite right that people think that droid = android. I have even heard it from the COO of my company – (it did make me squirm :) )

    On a personal side.
    I prefer Android to the iphone, but I do need to thank Steve Jobs – he is a genius in my eyes :) – although I do disagree strongly with his “walled garden” strategy – and really not caring about your past customers. He has trained his fan boys well — they will pay 50% more for less every time!

    So let’s thank all the apple fan boys out there that help support R&D with their constant upgrades!!!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe they were single handedly responsible but they did play a MAJOR role. Their Droid ad campaign brought attention from the masses to what had previously been mostly known to tech savvy people that frequented sites like this. I also agree that the iphone played another Major part but not as significant as Verizon. Glad to see t-mobile finally advertising its Android line of phones!

    • DMa

      I agree, Verizon spent millions and millions getting the spotlight on android, and helped all carriers because of that and Android in general. To be honest when the G1 came out I heard about it, but it wasn’t plastered around and was soon somewhat forgotten. Verizon helped, and i also think that even though it didn’t work out as planned, the nexus one got 3 months of great coverage in major news outlets which also helped propel Android into the vernacular.

  • SaggyBalls

    Verizon’s always been smug, Verizon will always be smug. Let them think what they want. We all know, or should know, that Android’s success can’t be pinpointed to one specific moment. It’s bigger than that. Truth be told, the success of the iPhone had just as much influence on catapulting Android as anything else did. It spawned a counter-culture, gave people an opportunity to proclaim greatness on something other than an Apple product. Plus, it’s just a great operating system. Verizon is the bully on the block, it’s not going to change. But history has shown that when a company gets a little too smug, bad things happen, just ask Enron.

  • Anonymous

    Well…look at it this way (and don’t flame me). (symbian and will try to make a comeback, android will kill the market very soon, and RIM will still be big in business/gov’t)
    It really was Verizon. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE T-MOBILE!

    Verizon marketed the android line of phones so well, that everyone was calling them DRIOD’s. I laugh at them because they don’t know, and Verizon preyed on that so well that Droid = Android in the casual user’s eye and they flocked to them…

    MyTouch was a good idea that went sour, and a 8 month exclusive with HTC, Tmobile and Google would have been perfect….Missed that opportunity. The HTC HD2 was a mistake in exclusivity but opened another door for HTC to show off it’s wares.

    iPhone, etc, had nothing to do with it, however. Exclusivities work very well…

  • Bob Roberts

    It has to be Tmobile. Who had the G1? – Tmobile !!

    • Frank Castle

      If Android was truly relying on the popularity of the G1, then it would have been doomed. In hindsights, its STILL an odd choice of hardware to premiere a new mobile OS.

  • Anonymous

    Well the iPhone definitely took the smartphone to a different level. That prompted makers of mobile OSes to adopt an iPhone-like approach in their software. Those who didn’t get the iPhone or weren’t on that network got something similar in Android on even the HTC WinMo touch screens that were available shortly after. People fell in love especially with Android and it grew from there. Geeks like myself had known about Android since before it was first debuted on T-Mobile’s G1. It was great; it was different; we all jumped on it. One thing people should note however, is that T-Mobile really didn’t need to put up all kinds of commercials to create the G1 buzz. It had it’s own momentum that kept growing. I believe without all of those “Droid” commercials, Android would have held it’s own anyway. The buzz was HUGE from the get-go. Granted, Verizon and the “Droid” helped boost sales significantly, but they most definitely didn’t single-handedly make Android what it is today. It comes from the source—T-Mobile and the G1. Without that initial buzz that kept getting bigger and bigger, Verizon wouldn’t have thought about jumping in. Apparently T-Mobile and G1 caught their attention. iPhone is responsible for new smartphone evolution; T-Mobile/G1 are responsible for the overall success of Android.

  • http://twitter.com/GaretJax71 Steven Kirby

    You cant forget about the first people who had the G1 played the biggest part LIke when I had mine everyone I knew loved it (thought it was an ugly phone) but they loved what it could do I had it rooted and it could do more it was a hotspot before anyone knew a phone could do that. now almost everyone I work with that had an iphone,Winmo,Palm,BlackBerry any smartphone now have an ANDROID Evos,Epics,Vibrants,Droids.

  • http://twitter.com/GaretJax71 Steven Kirby

    You cant forget about the first people who had the G1 played the biggest part LIke when I had mine everyone I knew loved it (thought it was an ugly phone) but they loved what it could do I had it rooted and it could do more it was a hotspot before anyone knew a phone could do that. now almost everyone I work with that had an iphone,Winmo,Palm,BlackBerry any smartphone now have an ANDROID Evos,Epics,Vibrants,Droids.

  • Wunako

    Ofcoarse they’re not single handedly the only reason.. at all but they do get the most credit.. like the article says, TMo only promotes the MyTouch Line (which they should since its their brand of Android) instead of all there leading phones with android. Verizon always promo’s its Droid Eris, and other phones but having the Droid as their flagship phone, so when people think android… er droid.. they think verizon.. Tmo just dropped the ball on marketing even tho they were first to have a android phone

  • Wunako

    Ofcoarse they’re not single handedly the only reason.. at all but they do get the most credit.. like the article says, TMo only promotes the MyTouch Line (which they should since its their brand of Android) instead of all there leading phones with android. Verizon always promo’s its Droid Eris, and other phones but having the Droid as their flagship phone, so when people think android… er droid.. they think verizon.. Tmo just dropped the ball on marketing even tho they were first to have a android phone

  • GT

    Verizon’s marketing propelled the android operating system. Without it, I’m not sure it would have grown as fast, both in customer appeal and in apps. TMo does do a terrible job in its advertising. They rely on there NBA marketing as the main one. HTC is marketing the G2 better than TMo. Why is that? Sure TMo probably does pay for some of it, but I see those commercials more than TMo’s own for android, excluding during NBA games.
    TMo took the initiative to back android. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain in that endeavor. Verizon saw the potential and ran with it (considering they didn’t have the iPhone) to compete against AT&T.
    In short, Verizon should be credited for making android what it is now. TMo for having the guts to be the guinea pig. Loyal TMo customer for <5 years.

  • Vic

    Sorry T-Mobile guys we are talking about who made Android. G1 Launched late 2008 but Android remained but a blip on the radar till late 2009 and then it sky rocketed. All of us who wanted an iPhone would not leave Verizon the phone network is the most important suddenly had a phone which worked sort of like an iPhone on Verizon. Dumped the Blackberry got an Android and soon realized it was better than an iPhone. If iPhone was on Verizon would have never used Android so did Verizon contribute to Androids success or Apple by staying exclusive to AT&T take your pick

  • Me

    For me, I think that it’s Verizon. Sure, T-mobile had the FIRST one, but the issue here folks is PERCEPTION and the perception is, Verizon. I heard about android long ago, well before it came out and I was jazzed about it. I didnt go for android because Im with another phone manufacturer I like, plain and simple, but that doesn’t mean Droid isnt good; it is. If you ask people what phone they want, they say DROID…… not android operating system, but droid. I work for a phone company and people are say “I want to leave you because they have droid.” When I tell them that we do to, they’ll say, “yeah, but they have droid by this company or that company” so the PERCEPTION is, (even if it’s a lie) a single PHONE is droid. Thanks to marketing principles, the horse is out of the barn and people just think droid is a LINE OF PHONE – except the die hards who know better.

  • Julia

    When I got the G1 on preorder 2+ years ago, nobody knew anything about Android. I remember being amazed when I guy came up to me at the mall asking me if I was carrying the G1. Verizon definitely made the general public aware of the Android OS and how awesome it is. Now many people I know carry some type of Android device (and none of them even remember anything about my G1 lol)

    • Jack

      I know, its sad. The G1, even if clunky, was awesome. And it did make me mad when the G1 first came out, and other carrier users thought that, plus the OS was stupid and that it was going to fail.

      And I do fault Tmobile for not hitting the marketing like they should have. Fail…no other way to put it.

      • http://twitter.com/surakmn Greg Prince

        The G1 was a good phone, but as I recall it didn’t offer WiFi which was a non starter for many people. Also, the Android Market of today is much more competetive with Apple’s app store than it was 2+ years ago.

        The myTouch is a good phone (I have one of the originals) but the Verizon offering was more powerful and better marketed. Today’s magenta phones lead the pack but at that time there wasn’t much in the marketplace to make one look at T-Mo offerings if they were looking for an Android phone.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Washington/100000190010519 Jeremy Washington

          what are you talking about it did have wifi?????????????????????
          Processor Qualcomm® MSM7201A™, 528 MHz
          Operating System Android™
          Memory
          ROM: 256 MB
          RAM: 192 MB
          Dimensions (LxWxT) 117.7 mm x 55.7 mm x 17.1 mm
          (4.60 in x 2.16 in x 0.62 in)
          Weight 158 grams (5.60 ounces) with battery
          Display 3.2-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 320 x 480 (HVGA) resolution
          Network1 HSPA/WCDMA:

          *
          Europe: 2100 MHz
          *
          US:1700/2100 MHz
          *
          Up to 7.2 Mbps down-link (HSDPA) and 2 Mbps up-link (HSUPA) speeds

          Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

          *
          850/900/1800/1900 MHz

          (Band frequency, HSUPA availability, and data speed are operator dependent.)
          Device Control Trackball with Enter button
          Keyboard Slide-out 5-row QWERTY keyboard
          GPS GPS navigation capability with Google Maps™
          Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate
          Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g
          HTC ExtUSB™ (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
          Camera 3.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus
          Audio Built-in microphone and speaker
          Ring tone formats:

          *
          AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, MIDI, MP3, WMA, WMV
          *
          40 polyphonic and standard MIDI format 0 and 1 (SMF)/SP MIDI

          Battery2 Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
          Capacity: 1150 mAh

          Talk time:

          *
          Up to 350 minutes for WCDMA
          *
          Up to 406 minutes for GSM

          Standby time3:

          *
          Up to 402 hours for WCDMA
          *
          Up to 319 hours for GSM

          (The above are subject to network and phone usage.)
          Expansion Slot microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
          AC Adapter Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
          DC output: 5V and 1A
          Special Features Digital Compass, Motion Sensor

  • Aaron

    VZW deserves the lion share of the credit.

  • Al Gore

    I invented the android phone.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhoneNerd Phone Nerd

    One could rephrase the question another way: Would Android be as successful without the marketing magic of Verizon?

    The answer, of course, is yes – Any time there is a diversity of major manufacturers making a device with a specific operating system, you’re going to have a successful platform. Look at Sony with BetaMax, vs Panasonic with VHS. Microsoft with Windows, vs Apple with Mac OS. Android is a success because HTC, Sony, Motorola, Samsung, and LG make Android phones, and there are Android devices on every carrier, postpaid and prepaid.

    Verizon could argue that the only thing they’re responsible for, in terms of Android and its growth, is putting Motorola back in the game as a handset manufacturer.

    • Anonymous

      This is the most correct statement regarding this issue…. ever. LIKE a thousand times and Phone Nerd… I’ll leave it to you because I couldnt have said at any better myself. The only that Verizon has done alone was bring MOTO back in the game. Yes their sucess with the Droid line is great but that was just good advertising not exactly the same thing as propelling the entire Android OS as a whole to where it is now.

      The Droid line as it stands now…. are all about the same in terms of what the can and cannot do….

    • Frank Castle

      I understand and somewhat agree w/ your statement… Android would inevitably succeed, yes. And it is wrong to think it would not have without VZW. However, look at the first year of Android… T-mo might have taken the chance on Android, but did horribly with marketing and securing ‘must have’, top of the line hardware. VZW gave Android a Nitro boost with heavy ad campaigns and consumer awareness. Android growth would and could have continued without VZW, but not as fast as it did.

    • http://twitter.com/surakmn Greg Prince

      Would Android ultimately be successful? Yes, and for the reasons you state. Would it have grown as quickly as it did? No. Verizon provided significant marketing muscle and had the most powerful handsets at the time.

  • lrnano

    Agree with Verizion Wireless did caught the attention of the people & well marketing strategies. The company that put Android on the map is T-Mobile with G1 = Generation 1. If T-Mobile wouldn’t have done that know one wouldn’t known about the Android OS. So far as marketing the product I give it to Verizon Wireless cuz at one point people stop talking about Android.

    • Anonymous

      and they still cant even tho palm os and windows mobile(phone) 7 has debuted since android has become “mainstream”

  • BrendanMcCluskey

    Has Verizon been more responsible for Android’s success than T-Mobile has? I think most of us would agree. Is Verizon “Single-handedly” Responsible For Androids Success? Heck no. Its success is attributed to many things, e.g. its being adopted by nearly every carrier around the globe, Apple’s long contractual commitment to AT&T, Verizon’s effective Droid branding, etc.

    • hi!

      and this is why it’s important to remember that Verizon never ever…ever said that. Re-read the article. The EXACT quote is, ““Android really took off when Verizon got involved” which again, is irrefutable fact

  • Keith Randy

    I don’t think that many people hated at&t enough to make Android successful. Yes, iPhone did change the game, but the true reason for the rise in Android is because of Verizon. T-Mobile was somewhat of a ginny pig for Android. A lot of people don’t know this buy T-Mobile was the first US carrier to adopt the Blackberry. That’s what T-Mobile does, they take chances. However, their marketing is absolutely terrible. Until recently, T-Mobile has never really marketed their phones or their network. Just their value and promoting families. T-Mobile had the opportunity to make the most of the time they had android and they didn’t. Verizon can in and offered the best Android phone at the time, the Droid. Not only was the marketing good, but it was a well built phone. I know I had one. While Verizon got the Droid, T-Mobile was adopting the Cliq. And android phone that has been plagued with issues from day one. Under powered, slow, clunky Moto Blur OS.

    Give Verizon credit where credit is due. That are an essential part of Androids success.

  • Wondercoolguy

    Yes I have TMO and I love TMO but they didn’t do anything to push the Android product. It was Verizon that started the Droid push. Most everyone I talk to about getting an Android phone all respond with I don’t have Verizon. Then I have to explain OS and that every carrier has Android. The common person thinks that Android is a phone on verizon and not an Operating System on all carriers

  • http://twitter.com/blacksilva88 Blacksilva

    No. You guys are trying to start a riot. Sorry to say it but i think tmonews is semi biased.

    • Anonymous

      TMONEWS…… ummm yeah…. its baised…..but not so much in response to this tho…

      • http://tmonews.com David

        Wait, what is biased?

        • Anonymous

          The site in general being that this is tmonews, but also that person was saying that you aren’t being biased in this article though.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          I hope I came off as biased in this post, I’m pretty clear when I’m leaning pro-T-Mobile as I’ll say so in no uncertain terms. I also hope its equally clear when I’m being critical of T-Mobile in a specific article but in this case I just trying to point out with was said and see what my readers, knowing fully well they are mostly all T-Mobile biased would think. Suffice to say, plenty think the guy was right even though they are all loving T-Mobile customers.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      You think? It’s a T-Mobile blog? Why wouldn’t we be biased but the story I wrote has no bias, it’s merely a question I posed but to say we are biased is like saying the sky is blue. Who wouldn’t expect a T-Mobile blog to have pro T-Mobile leanings?

  • Anonymous

    I love TMO but VZW did blow up Android with the Droid and Droid Incredible. If Tmobile had carried the N1 then it would be a completely different story but they didnt. And this doesnt help TMO either:

    1Ghz “superphones”
    Tmobile carried: Vibrant, G2, MT4G
    Verizon carried: Droid Inc, Droid X, Droid 2, Galaxy Fascinate, Droid Pro, Galaxy Continuum

    I won’t call int single handed but it is lobsided.

    • Anonymous

      T-Mobile did have some involvement in the Nexus One and was compatible with t-mobiles network and you would either get it through t-mobile contract or off contract. I would say it was a t-mo google device in its own right. The Droid branding got too over hyped. Galaxy Fascinate is the same as any other galaxy s and Droid Pro isn’t really that desirable neither Galaxy Continuum(unless you favor that) nor even the Droid incredible.

    • Anonymous

      T-Mobile did have some involvement in the Nexus One and was compatible with t-mobiles network and you would either get it through t-mobile contract or off contract. I would say it was a t-mo google device in its own right. The Droid branding got too over hyped. Galaxy Fascinate is the same as any other galaxy s and Droid Pro isn’t really that desirable neither Galaxy Continuum(unless you favor that) nor even the Droid incredible.

  • Jamie

    There was a whole year in between the launch of the G1 and the Droid. Verizon saw a good thing and wanted to get on the bandwagon. They had seen the success of the iPhone and wanted to take part in it, but their hands were tied. They saw the possibilities of the Android OS and embraced it. Did they have more money available for marketing, yes. This allowed them to get themselves front and center in the Android world. Just because you’re the loudest brat on the school yard with the new toy, doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for all the other kids wanting one, too.

  • T1 Connect

    Thing is when vzw was asked to be a member of the open handset alliance they refused, and even came off with some bad words. For them to make this comment, really pisses me off..google should have nothing to do with them and niether should microsoft for that whole kin debacle.

  • Neoprimal

    The Captivate doesn’t come close to the iPhone…that’s the problem. A phone marketed as being a premium Android handset and claimed to have been sold in the millions just isn’t premium in terms of use. Ask any GS user – It’s slow with time under it’s belt, buggy (in terms of the GPS) and without root+different rom the Samsung GS line is handicapped severely by Samsung’s RFS pushed to be used on all it’s onenand products.
    Now, take RFS and the GPS issues some/most users are having and you do have a premium phone with some powerful specs going for it.

    Also, this whole droid thing according to this writeup doesn’t ring true. I referred to my G1 as Droid before any VZ ad. So did all my friends and most people with an Android device. It’s almost common sense that if you’re going to shorten Android, you’d call it a Droid…which for 1 in and of itself is logical and 2, relates to the Droids from the SW galaxy which were just robots but with seemingly very high A.I (R2D2, for ex).

    If anything, VZ can take the praise for the ads which came on pretty much all the time – but the core Android users that have purchased the products and gone back to purchase more I think, come from T-Mobile whoch was the first….even if they’re no longer T-Mo customers, they moved to Sprint or VZ to get a different flavor of Android phone. I cant point a finger to say who’s more to blame for Android’s success or adoption than Google – who’s made the OS open for the most part, and given the mod community the option to tinker and build different roms for different folks. I def. don’t think it’s Verizon though.

    As for the iPhone causing Android’s success through effect…I don’t think so either. Only a handful of bandwagonists and hard core Apple fans moved from their networks to ATT to get the iPhone, and people who were on ATT may as well get it because it’s one of the best phones on their network. ATT has a disgusting Android lineup, it’s like they’re not even trying so I can say right now, as much as I hate to be locked into the Apple ecosystem which is draconian at best in terms of allowing users to do what they want to do with their devices – I’d probably go with the iPhone too having used the Vibrant and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to handle the Captivates core issues.

    It all boils down to the question being rephrased: Would Android be as successful without VZ? In no uncertain terms, the answer would be a big Yes.

  • Giannop

    I work at tmobile and I’ll be the first to say it was verizon who brought android to where it is today. IOS just gave room to innovate. When android came out as a response to apple it was small compared to apple. It wasn’t until verizon came to the picture with their strong and clever marketing technique that brought it to the map. Giving the iPhone credit to android sucres is like giving the industrial revolution the success to the iPhone. Lol. If the iPhone didn’t happen I’m pretty sure android would have still came. Verizon took it to the status that it is today. People come in to my store asking me all the time if we have the droid. Then I have to explain to them what it is…

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, Verizon is responsible for maybe 90% of android’s success. The other carriers helped a little (hence the remaining 10%), but no where near Verizon’s level.

      • Anonymous

        90% is too much credit when all they did was market droid. I would give them near 50% responsibility but not exactly 50% or higher. While it was verizon marketing did kick off android initially, it was the availability, customizability, difference in UI’s, variety of devices and devices after the release of Nexus One that are responsible for the success of android. And even more with samsung’s new business model for android going all carrier it will play an even bigger part as well. Verizon gets maybe 40% responsibility because if Verizon was the only carrier to offer android I can guarantee it wouldn’t be as great as it is today.

      • Tortionist

        Quit smoking crack. I’d give verizon about 50% responsiblity for Androids success, I-phone about 20% and T-mobile about 30%. WIthout T-Mobile, there’d be no Android.

  • Giannop

    I work at tmobile and I’ll be the first to say it was verizon who brought android to where it is today. IOS just gave room to innovate. When android came out as a response to apple it was small compared to apple. It wasn’t until verizon came to the picture with their strong and clever marketing technique that brought it to the map. Giving the iPhone credit to android sucres is like giving the industrial revolution the success to the iPhone. Lol. If the iPhone didn’t happen I’m pretty sure android would have still came. Verizon took it to the status that it is today. People come in to my store asking me all the time if we have the droid. Then I have to explain to them what it is…

  • Manusferrera

    Verizon made android tough to say but they did

  • Anonymous

    and let’s not forget Motorola’s premier entry was phenomenal…the original Motorola Droid was considered awesome…even though we (t mobile) got shat on…

  • orly?

    Is Verizon Single-handedly Responsible For Androids Success?

    Yes.

  • orly?

    Is Verizon Single-handedly Responsible For Androids Success?

    Yes.

    • http://twitter.com/surakmn Greg Prince

      A lot depends on what is intended by “success.” Verizon had everything to do with the rapid growth in sales and market share with competent devices and the first meaningful efforts at marketing them. Do I remember correctly that the G1 didn’t offer WiFi access? You’ve got to offer the features, and you have to market them boldly and loudly. Verizon was the first to have both. Verizon created the brand.

      • Tortionist

        The g1 did offer wifi access. I had it. So you remember incorrectly.

    • Anonymous

      Verizon is partially responsible for the success, NOT SINGLE-HANDEDLY!

  • Wilma Flintstone

    It’s the truth. Verizon and Motorola got Android where it is now. Most average customers know a smartphone with android as a Droid. Not a G2, MT4G, G1 or even Nexus 1 and thats from Google themselves. So Verizon’s CTO is 100% correct, a bit bigheaded but correct nontheless.

    Tmo brought The Razr and Sidekick where they were.

  • hi!

    I am a staunch T-mobile supporter but Verizon unquestionably is responsible for the success of Android. As you correctly stated in your article, to the VAST majority of the nation, the phone’s are ALL called, “Droids” regardless of carrier. That alone answers your question. The Palm Pre is an awesome device that had no marketing behind it (some creepy looking lake lady doesn’t count). WebOS is certainly a comparable operating system to iOS but it didn’t catch on because there was no well thought out, effective marketing campaign behind it like there was for the Droid line. Again, irrefutable fact that Verizon is responsible for bringing Android to the mass conscious. Furthermore, I think this article is severely blowing things out of proportion. Verizon simply stated, “Android really took off when Verizon got involved” and in no way shape or form can that be argued. They didn’t “take credit for Android’s success” like you stated. They made a simple statement of fact.

  • ObsequiousFlattery

    If I remember correctly, Verizon laughed and said they didn’t want the iPhone back in 2005 so when they were broadsided by the iPhone, and subsequent updates, they had to scavenge and get a compelling 3G phone ASAP or else fear loosing 30-some-percent of their customer base to AT&T.

    So of course, they were responsible for Android’s success. They would be America’s #3 wireless network if they weren’t successful.

    • David Reyna

      They didn’t laugh at them. They knew it was a good device. Apple wanted all the control and money with no Vzw branding so Vzw told them to piss off. I think it was a good move on Vzw’s part. I bet the deal they have with apple now is much better than it would’ve been.

    • David Reyna

      They didn’t laugh at them. They knew it was a good device. Apple wanted all the control and money with no Vzw branding so Vzw told them to piss off. I think it was a good move on Vzw’s part. I bet the deal they have with apple now is much better than it would’ve been.

  • http://twitter.com/josemedina1983 Jose Medina

    I think verizon did make android what it is today thats no question about it. But I think google loves t-mobile for been the first carrier to give them a chance and i feel they have good relationship. Google and verizon seems like they made a deal with the devil thats how I feel!

  • Danny

    I love T-Mobile but give Verizon their due where it’s owed.

    T-Mobile sucks at advertising. All we get are cutesy family (value) type of ads.

    Verizon’s ads are edgy, modern and we are bombarded with them everywhere. Verizon made “Droid,” a household name. People call all Androids “Droid,” now on the web interchangably regardless of the carrier.

    T-Mobile needs hotter, edgier more powerful ads showcasing their network strength and product line.

  • Toeshot

    Sorry, Verizon is not solely responsible for where Android is today. Marketing does have some play into it don’t get me wrong but the quality of the device is a major factor. You could market a brick as the best product in the world and people would buy it but when they found out is was a brick word of mouth would pass around quickly in today’s media technology and it would be just a brick sitting there with no sales no matter what marketing you do with it after the bad press, look at Toyota. What makes the Android sale is the OS itself, with it’s customizable features to give the phone a personality of the owner, which you can’t find on any other phone. The stability of the OS and the software it supports. You also have sites like XDA which give the phone great appeal to developers who want more from the phone. Verizon didn’t do that

  • Kyjeepbear

    As a 12 year employee of T-Mobile… this is absolutely, 1000%, dead on a true statement! No doubt about it.

    • Moda253

      That’s why I left T-mobile… Too many 12 year old employees.

      • bloke

        durr

    • Boygeorge

      As a 12 year employee of T-Mobile you cannot deny the marketing muscle Verizon puts behind their products and network vs what T-Mobile tells us.

      Maybe the 12 year employees need to be replaced by fresh blood who know how to manage a network and know how to advertise successfully?

  • Locke88

    yes, verizon is responsible for the success of android today

    • Anonymous

      No, Verizon is not responsible for all success of Android. Variety, Customizability, Marketing, UI’s even played a huge part.

      Verizon is only responsible for the marketing side. Aside from that the Nexus One really helped set the standard for whats in android and These standards helped produce higher end phone of which enticed many. Like linux there are many flavors of Android of which makes it easier to appeal to different groups and this happened hardware wise as well. Note how no android is truly the same experience.

  • To626n

    Eh, T-Mobile did drop the ball in becoming the premiere Android carrier. After the G1 came out, it took a whole year for another Android handset to come out. This would have been acceptable if the original MyTouch was a standout cutting edge phone, but it wasn’t. It was basically a slimmer G1 minus the physical keyboard. By this time Verizon had already come out with its Droid running Android 2.1 with a much faster processor while the MyTouch was significantly slower while running Android 1.5. Of course the “Droid does” campaign helped too.

    • Anonymous

      No Droid originally aired with 2.0 <- note that real quick. They didn't get 2.1 until Nexus One of which was partnered by yours truly tmo.

  • http://twitter.com/surakmn Greg Prince

    Apple changed the game in terms of expectations for a higher end smartphone – face it, even a low end Android phone is significantly more capable and more user friendly than a typical high end smartphone from five years ago. Apple fan boys would have bought the iPhone regardless, but it really was unique and really did offer something different and attractive to the masses. On top of that, both Apple and AT&T marketed the heck out of it.

    T-Mobile didn’t market Android and the G1 (or the first generation myTouch) to nearly the same level. Moreover, T-Mobile simply doesn’t have the reach of AT&T (let alone Verizon). When I am visiting a college town with 30-50K people and can’t get a reliable data signal even at edge speeds….that’s simply not acceptable. I applaud T-Mobile’s direct and aggressive engagement in the 4G wars, but for smartphone users focused more on productivity and less on streaming video the raw speed is less critical than dependable, reliable access. They’re the smallest of the majors, and they simply have more gaps in their network than the other carriers.

    Verizon deserves credit for getting the name out there. Until their marketing kicked off, and the powerful “iDon’t but Droid Does” campaign, few people in the market for an iPhone or a high end blackberry would have had Android come to mind as something to add to the shopping list.

    Magenta gets due credit for being the first and arguably the best – their handsets are the cream of the crop and where the network is sufficiently robust it is indeed very, very good. But AT&T really created the market for “that type” of phone with the iPhone, and it was Verizon who made ‘Droid a household name.

  • Rob

    I think what made Verizon start pushing the green guy was the success on Tmo’s customer base. Any successful business looks for the one thing that does well, and then moves in to do it better. Wether or not the Reds HAVE done it better or not, is debatable (afterall, their top Droid phones are made by the same people who brought us the Charm and the Razr 2, yuck). I would say the Reds are just as much of a contributing factor as Apple and Magenta.

  • blah

    I agree with this as many consumers still confuse the android OS with the “Droid” and use the names incorrectly. Their marketing campaign out it on the make and made it appear desirable rather than a “knock-off” iOS

  • blah

    I agree with this as many consumers still confuse the android OS with the “Droid” and use the names incorrectly. Their marketing campaign out it on the make and made it appear desirable rather than a “knock-off” iOS