Verizon Gets the iPhone… Yawn…

by Sal on January 11, 2011

in Anything Else

Besides politics, one of my passions in life is technology.  I am heavily-involved in it in my career, and I enjoy it as a hobby as well.  While this isn’t a tech blog and I don’t plan on normally writing about technology, I am making an exception in this case.  Verizon Wireless and Apple today announced that the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon in February.  Call me unimpressed.

No one can deny the significance of the iPhone in the history of mobile phones.  It redefined what a smartphone is, and it was the precursor to the other major smartphone platforms, Android and Windows Phone 7.  It has made many contributions to technology that are enjoyed by millions.  Yet the news that it is coming to Verizon, while interesting, is not something that I am overly excited about.

First, the iPhone 4 coming to Verizon is 6-months old.  A new one will likely be out in another 6 months.  Second, the iPhone is running on Verizon’s 3G network, when the world (and Verizon in particular) is starting to launch on 4G, which means much faster data speeds.  Finally, I feel that the iPhone is starting to stagnate as a platform.  They release yearly, iterative updates that don’t do much to advance the mobile market.

Android, on the other hand (my platform of choice) is much more innovative.  It runs on phones from many manufacturers, many carriers, and comes in many different shapes and sizes (you want a physical keyboard?  You can get it.  You want a large-screen device?  There’s an Android phone for that.)  With the iPhone, you are locked into one type of phone, on two carriers, with no choice of options.  Android also fits my political philosophy as well.  It is a platform that is open, allowing anyone to develop apps for it and make changes to it, taking a free-market approach.  The iPhone, on the other hand, is very totalitarian.  If you develop an app, Apple must approve that app.  You as a developer could spend months of effort on an app, only to have it rejected by Apple with no recourse or appeals process.

So the news that Verizon is getting the iPhone is noteworthy.  Now, consumers have more choice, which is always a good thing.  I won’t be running out to get one however.  I’m happy with my Droid X, and will stick with it until my next upgrade, at which point I will likely get a next generation Android phone.

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