As I predicted, forecast, warned, advised and flat-out told, you, all of you, collectively, months and months and months ago, Verizon today announced an iPhone 4 compatible with its own network, to be available early next month.
The Verizon iPhone includes the 5-Mpixel HD camera, A4 processor and ‘retina’ display of the existing iPhone 4, but runs only on Verizon’s CDMA network vs. the GSM networks of AT&T and other iPhone carriers outside the U.S. As readers know, I dropped my iPhone 4 for an HTC EVO 4G at Sprint because I was fed-up with AT&T’s lousy service in terms of customer, billing and network. I really do like the HTC EVO. But, I am mostly concerned about usability and productivity. So, I’ll be evaluating Verizon, to be certain.
Current Verizon customers will be able to pre-order the new iPhone online “on or around” February 3 – first-come, first served – with availability on February 10 through Apple stores, Verizon stores and online. Pricing with a new two-year contract is $199 for a 16GB version or $299 with 32 GB. Verizon has not yet specified data plan pricing, but a data plan will be required. A 3G Mobile Hotspot app will provide WiFi for up to 5 devices through the Verizon iPhone. For a $35 restocking fee, Verizon customers can exchange a phone purchased within the last 30 days to buy an iPhone. [See also: Verizon iPhone FAQ.]
This changes several things. Maybe a lot of things. Especially in terms of market share. Google thinks they are competing with Apple for the cellular device proliferation. I’ve posted some interesting statistics with the valid forecasts. And, you’ve read the passionate Nicholas Johnson, saying that Android devices rule the market (they are awesome, but they don’t rule anything). Here about some of all that, here: being part of the solution evolution revolution. But, go to “search” on this blog, it’s over to the left, and punch-in: “Android”, for more.
But, let’s just see how another service-provider in North America changes things. Verizon is the preferred choice for business and cellular devices. Big Blackberry country, that. But, let’s see how many Verizon users jump on the iPhone (that had an opportunity to go with an Android device, but didn’t, mind you).
NOTE: The iPhone’s reported customer loyalty levels were the highest in the survey, while Research in Motion was second at 35% (for its Blackberry OS), Google Android was third at 28%, Nokia was fourth at 24% and Microsoft was fifth at 21%.
Loyalty remains an important factor for a company looking to gain share in the highly competitive mobile phone market. Me? I believe strong customer stickiness and a brand image synonymous with innovation has enabled Apple to grab mobile phone market share despite heightened competitive pressure.
So… As I’ve already stated on this blog, and I’m right, Apple is going to hit $1000 inside the next ten years. Along the way, it’s going to hit $418, and fairly soon. That’s roughly 25% ahead of the current market price (today). As an aside… I estimate that iPhone operations constitute the majority of the company’s stock value (54%).
Peace be to my Brothers and sisters.
Brian patrick Cork