Can Verizon and Google's Android topple AT&T and the iPhone? The two technology giants announced on Tuesday their joint collaboration to provide mobile devices and software on Verizon's 3G service network through two Android phones, expected to land in stores before the end of the year.
Tongues are wagging about the potential for Verizon's Android phones to not only reclaim market share from the AT&T and Apple's iPhone and RIM's Blackberry, but actually overtake their rivals by 2012.
Critics are quick to point out that the iPhone-Android competition doesn't take place on a level playing field. Android lacks a "killer" phone that can carry its own water.
But despite the lack of a rock star device, the partnership between Verizon and Google makes up for the deficit: Verizon's brand about is service, and Google is a brand about innovation.
As Daily Finance's Alex Salkever observes, AT&T has coasted on Apple's strong branding ofthe iPhone. Verizon far outpaces AT&T's reputation for service and reliability, which has taken hits thanks to vocal complaints from otherwise satisfied iPhone users. Now, with its slick new Google-made technology, the Verizon brand can only steal away market share.
The partnership is a major coup for Google's Android. It was only a year ago that Verizon passed over Android for the LiMo operating system. Now, according to Ars Technica, Verizon is ditching LiMo for Android.
Verizon and Google aren't the only brands boosted by their new partnership. It is reported that one of the two Android smartphones to be offered through Verizon will be the Motorola Sholes, also known as Tao, Motorola's second Android device. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha believes the relationship between Verizon and Google will benefit the ailing company. He's bullish about using the Android platform to create a smartphone market at Motorola, bragging that his company has "embraced the Android ecosystem really strongly," with plans to extend it to "as many carriers and global regions as we possibly can."
Excitement and interest in what the duo creates is feverish, but do you think Verizon and Google need to build a brand around a "killer" phone, a la the iPhone? Or can they leave the hardware to companies like Motorola, and succeed on the synergy of their brands' existing capacities?