In short, no. Android lives on regardless of Apple.
Earlier today, I actually deleted a potential post about what would have happened if there been a CDMA version of the iPhone. After messing around with it for a while I came to the conclusion it doesn’t really matter, the past is past and who knows what would have really happened.
And then TechCrunch runs the article, “Is Android Only Surging Because Apple Is Letting It?“
They don’t take the revisionist history approach I was going for, but they did lightly touch upon some of the areas I wanted to cover. Namely, why do people choose Android and what would have happened had Verizon been able to get their own iPhone? There were more areas for sure, but since I couldn’t get the post to be anywhere near coherent, I gave it a swift death. In retrospect, maybe I should have just slimmed it down like TechCrunch did.
But if you enjoy thinking about these things, here are some of the areas I was thinking about:
- How does one explain the growth of Android in non-U.S. markets like China?
- Also, if Apple really wanted to win China, should they do a TD-SCDMA version?
- Did people really choose Apple over Android or did the strength of each operator’s channel determine the majority of the choices?
- If a CDMA version had existed and therefore no exclusivity with ATT, would Android have been used as a pawn by both ATT and Verizon to gain concessions from Apple? You have to admit, their hardware IS expensive. And I’m sure they’ve been eye-balling the App store of Apple for some time…
- Apple famously attempts to defend it’s consumer experience, so could they have effectively supported both a VZW and ATT platform? And if not, how would they prioritize without aggravating the other partner?
- With CDMA typically being a more expensive technology, would Apple have accepted the margin hit on their hardware?
- Is Apple just sticking around at ATT until LTE comes to Verizon?
Obviously, I have my opinion on these questions, but there is no point in going through them. In the end of my now-deleted piece, I couldn’t think of a compelling reason for why Apple would have ever gone to (or will go to) Verizon before LTE. I just wasn’t comfortable enough to say it with confidence. So what am I getting at with all this? Basically…there is a lot at play, especially in the U.S. market and it wouldn’t be wise to try and simplify Android’s growth around only one or two factors.