Is there really any brand loyalty in the smartphone game?
Now that Verizon
- Jilted iPhone champion AT&T
(NYSE: T)will surely turn elsewhere to fill out its smartphone portfolio now that the exclusive relationship is over.
- Verizon's love affair with the Droid series, powered by Google
(Nasdaq: GOOG)Android software, must surely be over.
AT&T has already confirmed a newfound commitment to Android, promising to bring "more than 12" new Android handsets to market in 2011. That's up from six models today, or eight if you include refurbished examples of discontinued models. By comparison, smaller network operator Sprint Nextel
Verizon's 11-model haul (plus five refurb options) would fall behind AT&T's selection this year if the company truly has lost that lovin' feeling for Android. However, Android enthusiast site Phandroid got an anonymous tip that seems to prove a continued Droid fling. According to the tipster, Verizon plans to release four Android phones and a Microsoft
The source doesn't exactly inspire confidence, being an anonymous leak to an Android-centric fan blog, so feel free to take this with a generous pinch of salt. But if this is a fabrication, at least the fiction is based on some solid facts: The purported release dates line up nicely with FCC radio license applications and the expiration of their confidentiality lock-up periods. Further, the Sony
I think it's fair to say that Verizon won't shun Android for the love of its shiny new iPhones, while AT&T is indeed gaining a newfound appreciation for the platform. Branching the iPhone out to Verizon may have grown the market for that particular product line (OK -- it certainly did accomplish this), but it wasn't an Android-killing move, as some pundits have feared.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value choices. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool has written puts on Apple. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Apple. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.