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!


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