So Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) posted a full-page ad for the upcoming Droid X smartphone in recent issues of The New York Times.

Ho-hum, business as usual. The ad touts phone features like the fast processor, the coming update to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android version 2.2, and the amply equipped camera. The Droid X has a "gigantic" screen and "huge capacity," making it "the ultimate smart phone." So far, so trite. You would expect nothing less from a phone so new and cutting-edge that it's not even hitting stores for another two weeks.

But when you read the whole thing, you'll see something unexpected: "And most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls."

For those who have been living under a boulder since Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) released the iPhone 4, let me spell out what that means: the Droid X won't lose reception if you hold it the wrong way, unlike Apple's latest and greatest.


All is fair in love and marketing ,at least until the courts tell us otherwise, but there's an important subtext here. While it looks like Motorola designed the ad, explaining the veiled vitriol, Verizon must have vetted it before letting the thing go to print. After all, there's a prominent Verizon logo on the ad and the two have worked closely together marketing the Droid series. And that's not the kind of jab you would throw (or in this case allow to be thrown) at a prospective partner. To me, this is a clear sign that Verizon won't get iPhones in inventory anytime soon.

I still believe that Apple's best bet for beating Android in the American market is to expand to networks beyond just AT&T (NYSE: T). Not only is Ma Bell's service often criticized, but simply giving your customers a choice would expand the addressable market right away.

But it looks like Verizon is not on deck. This makes sense for technical reasons, which also remove Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) from the equation. The only other mobile network operating an iPhone-compatible 3G network over here is T-Mobile, by Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT). If you want more than two choices, you'd have to go to Canada.

So if Apple is expanding its iPhone reach in the States anytime soon, T-Mobile would pretty much be it. Verizon would probably tell you the same thing itself.

Where do you see the iPhone going next? Discuss in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Sprint Nextel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.