Why Apple Should Start Wooing Verizon Like Google

Includes: AAPL, GOOG, T, VZ
by: Andy Beal

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phone technology is going where no iPhone has gone before–to the Verizon (NYSE:VZ) network.

The two companies have announced a strategic partnership that will see more Android phones coming to market–some within the next few weeks.

Integral to this agreement is a commitment by the companies to devote substantial resources to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly…Verizon Wireless and Google plan to co-develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with innovative applications from both parties as well as third-party developers.

This is a big win for Google. While the iPhone has seen impressive market gains, there’s no doubt that it won’t realize its full potential until it can break free from its current AT&T (NYSE:T) bonds. While consumers are left waiting for the iPhone to become available on Verizon’s arguably better 3G network, Google gets to sweep in and try to make as many of them as possible convert to Android.

I’ve spoken to many Verizon Wireless customers that feel left out of the smart phone race because their desire for a reliable network outweighs their desire for an iPhone. If Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t cozy up to Verizon soon, it could find it misses the boat. All of the hundreds of thousands of patiently waiting Verizon customers might decide the Android is good enough–locking them in for another two years and locking out Apple in the process.

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