Brand power -- or was iPhone's competition Android or no-iPhone?

Verizon iPhone

The Verizon iPhone is coming February 10 and some of the big questions are: who will leave the AT&T iPhone for the Verizon iPhone, who will leave the Verizon Droid for the Verizon iPhone, and most importantly, what will the next huge wave of Verizon feature phone upgraders choose?

AT&T's reception -- or the lack thereof in some areas -- will certainly propel some current iPhone users to switch networks (our poll shows about 19% of TiPb readers are considering doing just that). Some wanted the iPhone badly enough that they tolerated a poor network experience for years but now that they have the choice they'll switch to a network that better suits their needs as soon as contract and/or cash allow.

On the flip side some wanted the iPhone but just couldn't or wouldn't live with AT&T service in their area so stuck with Verizon and got BlackBerry Storms or, especially lately, Verizon Droids. I'm deliberately using Droid and not Android because, like it or not, Android is not a mainstream brand. And no matter how much market metric companies like to graph it, it's not a phone any consumer can buy. Droid is, in several models, and thanks to Verizon's massive advertising campaign coupled with Google's powerful software, it's a phone that gained some mainstream mindshare.

(Samsung's Galaxy S, while popular, has a fragmented brand with different names on every carrier so despite incredible sales it collectively doesn't enjoy the same level of mainstream mindshare.)

No doubt many people bought Droids because they love Android. They're probably the same people who know what Android is and specifically why it's great at what it does. They also know Galaxy S and the other models. Many others just wanted a smartphone and Droid did -- original, Pro, 2, Incredible, Bionic, etc. They went into the store and it was a brand they recognized thanks to Verizon's advertising and, with the only other recognizable brand being BlackBerry, they probably picked one or the other (increasingly Droid based on the share numbers).

Now those same customers will walk in and see iPhone. Money Verizon used to spend on marketing Droid is now also being used to market iPhone on Verizon. Apple is also marketing iPhone on Verizon. AT&T will continue to market iPhone (Verizon and AT&T will be competing not just for users but for iPhone users and that benefits the iPhone brand). No one else is marketing Droid.

Some who previously bought BlackBerry Storm or Droid will switch to iPhone, also when cash and/or contract allows. Some will stay with both (productivity mavens and power users), but those who wanted the iPhone and couldn't get it will switch when they can.

Existing smartphone users are also only the tip of the iceberg. The giant, ship-crushing base of the iceberg is feature phone users who either waited for the iPhone or see the iPhone as just another phone they'll enjoy using (as opposed to other, more complicated even if more powerful smartphones). The partial migration of AT&T iPhone users and Verizon BlackBerry and Droid users is one thing. The inevitable migration of mainstream feature phone to mainstream smartphone users is another. Because right now iPhone is almost synonymous with mainstream smartphone.

Right now Verizon customers going into a Verizon store to get a new phone might recognize BlackBerry or Droid. Next month they absolutely will recognize iPhone. Just look at how Verizon is positioning it:

  • iPhone is front and center on the Verizon home page
  • Click on Verizon's Phone menu and what choices do you get? iPhone, smartphone, feature phone.

Not only is iPhone listed first, Droid and BlackBerry aren't listed at all. You have to dig for them. [Daring Fireball]

The number of Droid users -- of all Android users -- on Verizon today is small compared to the number of iPhone users on AT&T. Collectively, across all US networks, Android phones have numbers that equal or beat iPhone just on AT&T. [New York Times]

Next month iPhone will be on Verizon as well. How many will switch to iPhone from Droid? How many will switch to the Verizon iPhone as their first smartphone? No one knows for sure but the number will pass 1 million very quickly, probably in the first week, and several million, probably the first quarter.

Up until now the choice may have been iPhone on AT&T or Droid on Verizon. It also may have been iPhone on AT&T or no-iPhone on Verizon. We'll find out which next month. My suspicion is Apple's investment in brand will pay huge dividends and will be something other OS makers and manufacturers will have to start taking much more seriously.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Brand power -- or was iPhone's competition Android or no-iPhone?


Somehow I think I understood that. It all sounds like a complicated way of saying Verizon and iPhone are going to make another killing...right?

I think we should be watching Motorola and if or when they're going to file for bankruptcy. Their Droid on Verizon is the only viable product they have at the moment.

@shane. Heard of and used, are two different things. I assume you have used a Xoom.........Oops. They have not been released yet.
Can we simply set a rule on not commenting on or saying a product that has not been released yet as being better than a product that has been on the market for almost a year?????
Thanks, genius!

I've used a XOOM actually. Got my hands on one the other day, with pre-release beta software. It wasnt bad. Wouldnt trade my iPad for it, but I am considering it for my wife.

While I agree with BobMarley that it's ridiculous to tout products not even released yet as evidence of Motorola's strength, Moto is certainly not going to go bankrupt. There are a lot of people who may not be Android/Linux geeks but still love their Droids. Just as there are plenty of people (like me) who aren't Apple fanboys but still love their iPhones.

At 800 bucks the zoom won't sell. Why would you buy that when you could get an ipad. Actually you could get 2 ipads for that price.

Unless you have a recent study that surveys some thousands of people, your simply wrong about Android branding. Like it or not Rene people now know what Android is whether they call it Droid or Android. This is why Android outsells iOS now both in the United States and Worldwide and why it will continue to do so for eternity. However this is not important anymore. It is for nerd wars (Apple fans lost the numbers game). But Apple still makes a ton of money off of what they sell and will continue to despite androids success.

Your first point (sentence) negates your second point (sentence).
Sent from my iPhone

Actually the everyday person only recognizes the brand name, not the OS. When a company markets a phone they say the name of the phone and what it can do, but they really won't touch on the operating system as it'll be really listed as a feature and only the nerds will know what the OS is. And Android only outsells iOS worldwide is because their's more selection of Android devices than iOS. But Android is completely unorganized, it's fragmented to hell and when the best one comes out, it's already obsolete in a few months and shows it's age really fast. The iPhone however, lasts longer and doesn't show much aging between generations. When I got my Droid when it came out and it was great, now it's just slow. I can play with my friends iPhone 3G and it's pretty snappy for being a year older than the Droid.

You completely missed the point. Android is not a "phone", it's an OS. Droid is a "phone". You can't compare Android to the iPhone. You have to compare the Droid or a SPECIFIC Android phone to the iPhone to get an accurate number. And when you do that, no, Android doesn't win. Up until now, the iPhone was only available in the US on AT&T...on only one device. Android runs on several devices across every single carrier. The numbers are skewed. There is no denying that. People have a misconception that Android is a "phone", not an OS. Do more people run Android OS than iPhone OS? Absolutely. There is only 1 iOS device on the US market. There are TONS of Android devices, across several carriers. If you want a fair comparison, compare one android device alone to iPhone or compare iOS to Android after the iPhone has been on another carrier for a few months.

What they want to say is "iOS phone" vs "Android phone" but that's not a very useful metric. For examples, for developers it doesn't count the ~50 million iPod touches on the market.
It would be better to say "devices that run iOS apps" vs. "devices that run Android apps" because that's more meaningful to developers and consumers both. It would also include iPad and things like Galaxy Tab.

Then we are also counting all of the Android PMP's, tablets (archos and otherwise), car stereos, refrigerators, e-readers, and TV's (google tv and otherwise). Android still has bigger numbers at the end of every month. Apple chose not to license. That's their own deal. Android powered phones are outselling iOS powered phones. Sales aside, people know what both Android and iOS are. Just like people know what windows is rather than just what laptop model they are using. So,e people don't even know they are windows 7 or not or if they are service pack 1 or 2. What they know is windows. What smartphone owners know is (android or droid) name which is a google OS. I don't get why it's so hard to accept.

I'm not sure why people care but for argument sake here it goes: The fact that this ONE phone has as much market share as it does is remarkable to say the least. And Apple is about to pick up another big chunk with the addition of Verizon. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Apple's strategy isn't too sell the most phones. It’s to make the most money, which before you say that's selfish capitalistic crap let me say this. Apple understands by providing incredible customer service/support (which they do the best by a long-shot), making their customers think they have the slimmest/fastest/hippest/sharpest phone via marketing (pick whatever adjective you want as it doesn't matter) and then make it look pretty they have the luxury of charging a premium for their products. And all these things are good for the consumer because Apple has a good plan that they executing with cutthroat efficiency.
Do people really think Apple is interested in the mid to low end market? There is no money to be made there and with the subsidization of phones, people walking away from contracts is a loss for the carrier and isn't good for anyone. That's why I would be surprised to see the iPhone on Sprint or T-Mobile. No credit checks and dirt cheep plans with the obvious tradeoff in coverage. No, Apple will focus on the high end market, have mind boggling profit margins and let Android, Windows and Blackberry take care of everyone else.
This is all so simple but yet I still see people arguing over who sells more phones. Nevermind the fact your comparing a proprietary OS with one device to an open platform where anyone and their mother can put the OS on their phone. And as I stated earlier, It doesn't even matter as number of phones sold is just a part of the story. One things for sure though, there are still a lot of people with money that don't have a smartphone.

@Stickybuns I wonder if that was the same argument Apple fans had in the 90's when Microsoft ended up making more money with the strategy that Google is using now? hmmm...

It's the iPhone vs other phones and Android vs iOS. Android is an operating system so you have to compare it to iOS as a whole, which means iPads and iPod touches as well as iPhones,

Are u serious Rene??? Are u Effing kidding me??? Why are u on Verizon's C0ck about the iPhone. U always blog about useless things. Damn u freaking suck at being a reporter. Get a life

Brand recognition is power in this business. Whenever I went into the carrier store (before I followed blogs like this), I never knew what I wanted (other than a new phone). I always looked by price and if I recognized something from ads or something a friend was using, I usually went with that. Unless someone goes in looking for a Droid, they will probably spend their time in the store with the iPhone and if they can afford it, will probably buy it.

I've had an original Droid since day one and then switched to an Incredible when it became available. I had planned to get a VZW iphone but now I think I'll just get one for my wife and pick up a Thunderbolt for myself and wait to see if I want to switch when iphone 5 comes out. I just don't see the iphone as an "upgrade" yet.

@ Steve and Bob: I think the point of the artical is to look at mindshare in Verizon. Yes, all Verizon customers know what Android is but the question is, will they forget after a year of Verizon iPhone ads? He also talks about wether or not more Vzn iPhone users will come from the Droid line or feature phones... I couldn't find one negative thing about Android in the article. Point it out to me if I'm wrong.

I definitely agree with the article. i work somewhere that we sell Verizon AT&T and sprint phones and people come in all the time asking if this phone is a "droid" phone. I let them know that it actually runs android and that Verizon just brands certain phones as Droid phones. The question i get asked the most by customers looking to upgrade is, " how does this phone compare to the iphone?" i think the average consumer doesn't know that much about android.

I think that that chart that Rene used shows that Android hasn't failed on AT&T, even though the devices are terrible. Just saying.

Anyone in marketing and business will tell you brand power and name recognition is everything. And, to me, the only reason anyone knows android is because, rightfully so, Verzion marketed it as the antithesis to the closed nature of iOS. While Verzion know the iPhone will make them lots of money, android is still a money maker. I think Verizon will position the iPhone as it's feature phone, with some droids as well, but will probably use them as second tier phones, like AT&T does. In the next wave of adverts, I see Verizon doing what T-Mobile in the US is doing, attacking AT&T on the quality of their network. To me, this is a better argument, because this is where we consumers may get something out of it. Because believe it or not, a great phone/platform is nothing without a great carrier to back it up. This is why, in the end, brand recognition, and Apple, wins. But much like the real world, Mercedes doesn't exist if Toyota isn't around to be the antithesis.

"On the flip side some wanted the iPhone but just couldn’t or wouldn’t live with AT&T service in their area so stuck with Verizon and got BlackBerry Storms..."
THAT’S ME! ...oH gOd x'-(
I came about a "yes" short of actually getting the droid X when it was first released when Verizon followed the "early renewal" fad.
All I wanted was a device that could merge my ipod and phone together as the heavy Storm takes a toll on pocket hems (and RIM's operating systems are absolutely atrocious, imo.)
The rumors were so overwhelming, including those tasty new droid rumors sporting media-rich hdmi 8mp camera huge screen goodness. But yet no one could show me a droid capable of utilizing a user-friendly UI for music. Winamp mobile app came close but there was some issue about synching with winamp for desktop (serious turn off).
Now my decision is a no brainer.

I've been saying for months. The only reason a lot of these Android phones are selling so well is because they're being sold as "like an iPhone."

Your comment makes little sense (if any)... Despite what you may believe, the "iPhone to Verizon" is a HUGE deal in smartphone world. A lot people swear by Verizon's service/reliability and are absolutely thrilled about this news.
If you dont like what a reporter is writing, then just read another blog. Whatever you do... just make sense at very least

Two important questions you forgot to ask...
Is verizon getting the iphone going to impact a global market?
What the he!! is the data plan for the veriphone going to be?!

To your question on will the Verizon iPhone will impact the global market - The impact will come in 2 ways. The first is the direct impact - Verizon will sell millions of iPhone and this will most likely cut some Android sales. But this may also drive Android manufacturers to create even better phones. The second impact is indirect - The fact that Apple now has a CDMA phone means that other CDMA carriers can possibly begin selling the phone - biggest being in South Korea, Japan and the worlds largest China. Also looks like this will bring about the CDMA iPad also.

Apple releases the iPhone on one additional carrier and the blogs lose their minds like its a new beginning. Its amazing how a Canadian can be so US centric and tunneled visioned his view of the smarthphone market Explain to me how a Verizon iPhone will stunt the growth of Android globally? Android is beating out all others in growth around the globe. In markets where the iPhone is on multiple carriers, Android wins. Why is that so hard to understand. It's highly doubtful that it will have much of an impact on Android growth in the US for any extended period of time. As far as marketshare is concerned Apple lost the battle. Be happy with the profits.

Theres only one problem with what you are saying: you can't compare the iPhone to Android, they're not the same. iOS and Android are in the same category, the HTC Incredible and the iPhone are in the same category, but Android and the iPhone are not. It's like comparing apples and oranges, it just doesn't work. If you do compare it that way, of course Android is dominating, there are like 200 Android phones to 4 iPhones.

@ eckeister and Rene
Smartphone marketshare has always been defined as what OS was running on the phone. Thats what it was when Apple was making massive gains on BB, and no one brought up this category bullsh*t. You can't change the rules of the game and how winning is defined just because your team is no longer winning.

Oh freaknasty. Been waiting for you to troll......Problem is, your take is a tired, old one. Does it bother you to say the same old thing?????
If you think iPhone 4 going to VZ will not have an impact on the Roid market, well, let's just say, you are myopic. Humm, what does myopic mean, champ? Look it up on your Roid phone, one of at least 50 models on the same platform.....
I have an idea, freak whatever you call yourself. Flush that thing we call in the states " the crapper"......that is Roid market share going , well, you know where....

I agree @freaknasty. Android will continue to grow faster than any other OS in history as its applied to everything from tablets to toasters.
However Android will not see as much marketing/sales as an iOS device even as Android pumps out 6 to 7 phones every 3-6 month span. iOS is still comparable to a platform thats on every carrier vs a platform thats on a single carrier.
Only time will tell how it will do now that exclusivity is no more.
In my opinion that drives me nuts because I dont want to think I got a raw deal with my device every 3 months. But I'm not a major device tweaker and Apple totally eliminates that raw deal issue.
Now if Apple is late on delivering its new device... PANDEMONIUM! @_@ (Verizon iphone has been in development since 2008!!!! that was confirmed during the verizon iphone event if im not mistaken).....

i hear what you are saying but i don't mind new models coming out every 3-6 months. It drives innovation across all manufacturers. Look at the slow progression of iphone up until the iPhone 4. Without the major hardware revisions on Android handsets Apple would still be feeding you small bumps in phone technology, calling it magical and watching the masses eat it up. Now I know that when I'm ready to upgrade a year down the road, the phone I get will truly be next gen and not simply offer added features that should have been in the last gen anyhow. Who cares if phones are released halfway through my phone cycle that offer some advantages over my phone. I'm cool with a those whose upgrade comes due during that period can have something a little better than what I have because i'm offered that same advantage soon enough. More so, I have a family plan with phone upgrades staggered just right so that if I want something new throughout the year i can still do so at full upgrade discount. I don't have to wait a full year for Apple to offer something better, and hope that it is truly worth an upgrade, and not just some speed bump.

Feb 10th needs to get here sooner, I'm counting down the days until I can ditch this rusted Droid one.

I know the "android" platform as droid thanks to Verizon, I also bought the Droid X because several employees at Verizon told me it was just like the iphone or even better! I'm paying the fee to get rid of this crapy droid and get the Iphone!!!!! FEB. 10th Needs to hurry and get here!

Android has tried to hard! People want the Iphone or Verizon would not be getting it. No one cares about android since no single company is competing for its devices! Also, my only complaint about is who puts freaking glass on a phone, there APPLE with the smartest people in the world, best devices, becoming the most popular yet they can not come up with a durable iphone?.Contradicting comment, YES I know but there is only one Iphone, one apple app store, and now two companies selling it! It must be worth it!

If you can't handle a nice looking smartphone. Careless, dropping, etc... Then get a flip, slider, or candybar phone..... Nuff said
Sent from my iPhone 4

Isn't the glass used on the iPhone what is used in helicopter windshields or something? It's not your standard glass. My cousin's got the iP4 and he dropped it down a flight of wood stairs... not a scratch to be found.

Two points:  

  1.  Apple doesn't care about winning the market share battle. They want to balance market share with profit margins. Obviously they do this better than anyone else. And this is coming from someone who owns a ton of MMI
  2.  Rene is right, these companies aren't positioning themselves in the Smart Phone market with huge capital investment to satisfy the early adopters or folks that choose a certain OS and ecosystems based on some phylosophical belief on "openness" or user experience. People that define who they are by the smartphone they use and post angry messages on blogs when someone makes a negative comment about their precious are not the norm. No, VZN and ATT are anticipating these feauture phone users  will convert to smart phones over the next few years, get locked into two year contracts and pretty much make pure profit from the $30 data charge and $20 text charge. Does anyone, including those passionate android users, think Joe Six Pack will pick a phone from the amazingly confusing Android lineup?  Or will they choose the well-branded, consistent, familiar, easy to use, status symbol? Maybe J6P will also have a vendetta against Apple because they are successful and because the typical customers are bi-coastal elite. Who knows?

I love Google, I am on my second Android phone - and I am getting the iPhone on Verizon on day 1. I am in the camp of having not purchased an iPhone because of AT&T and Android was a consolation prize. I am a serious power user and I have not been able to rely on my Droid's the way I can my iPad, and the app quality available for Android is lacking compared with iOS. I really appreciate what Google is doing, but Apple having only 1 phone per year really lends itself to more reliable and consistent hardware, and more focused software.

It is amazing how many people are up this late :) But I just want to say my opinion. I have used an iphone(3g, 3gs and 4) and alot of androids but i am a diehard Windows phone 7 fanatic. However, I do want to say. Android and Droid to me are the same thing(the name of a phone). Android is also an OS. Droid is just a BRAND NAME that Verizon calls the android phone. On t-mobile, at&t, and sprint they are android phones. So when people compare Android/Devices to an iphone(it is fair) because android can be applied to both the name of a phone and the OS. For example Chocolate chip cookies. Nabisco makes chocolate chip cookies and keebler makes 'em. THEY ARE STILL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES just with a BRAND NAME. Verizon has the Droids, T-mobile has the mytouch family, Sprint has it's Evo line and At&t has...well, idk what they have but I explain to people that Droids are just the name of an android phone that uses ANDROID OS. That is what bothered me the most out all the debates is the fact that someone says Android is only an OS and not a phone. I can compare a Droid to an Iphone 4 just like I can compare any of at&t "android Phones" to an iphone 4 because it is an Android phone using android OS

I disagree with Rene from a carrier marketing standpt. Obviously Droid/Android is still being marketed most heavily by Sprint and T-Mobile (kinda goes without saying since they have “no-iphone”). You can't go into a Sprint store right now without having something "EVO" shoved in your face; G2 in a T-Mobile store.
These phones continue to do VERY well considering the tendency to market a new phone in a short period of time.
Apple iphone will pay “very decent" dividends, but definitely not "EPIC/HUGE." This is simply because there are too many questions as to who is going to buy this device thats almost a year old already? …If a customer wants a 3g phone or 4g? "I've waited this long; why not wait for iphone 5?” etc. etc....
The huge Interest in rumors for Apple+Verizon is phenomenal, but mostly a repercussion of horror stories of terrible service/signal from AT&T. In addition, this device, which seems to innovatively blow away the competition every year is stuck on this 1 carrier. (you know... the one with all the horror stories?)
So a unique situation has been created. Or one can argue the same scenario overseas, or over the northern border has simply been realized in the States.
It's only a big deal for me simply because I wanted an iphone since I had to deal with Verizon's notoriously terrible quality in devices since 2002, and I listen to music 24/7.
However, what about those moving to those new Android devices to take advantage of LTE?

The whole android phones vs iphone4 argument is like saying gas powered cars outsell Audi turbo diesels.
Your comment has several holes in it, however, you did state that it was opinion. Regardless, by your argument had sprint had the marketing muscle of verizon then ALL android os phones would be called EVOs. Android CANNOT be applied to the hardware as it IS the os. Your perception is that it is hardware the reality is that it is not.
Droids are specific devices
EVOs are specific devices
Galaxy's are specific devices
Android is a software operating system that all of these use.
I think that most of the confusion is in motorolas choice to use part of the software's name in the moniker of the device. Which is actually a point of the above article (brand recognition). Some of the uninformed know all android os phones as droids, which is incorrect. These people, also, state that android phones outsell iPhones. You say you can compare a droid to an iPhone 4, valid. You can compare any of "at&ts android phones" to the iPhone 4, valid. What bothered you is that people say, "android is only an os and not a phone", also valid. Your last comment about an android phone using an android os is only partially valid. It's simply a phone (hardware) that uses android os not an android phone.
It is EASY to concede the fact that iOS is outsold by android, EASY, iPhone 4 against a droid X, not so much. I could go on and on about hardware specs, and marketing $$$, and user experience, and fragmentation, etc. But as people repeatedly say, "apples and oranges."
By the way, windows phone 7 IS NOT a phone. Its the next thing people will compare to iPhone 4 sales, heh.

I never said windows phone 7 was a phone/device. That's just what it's called. But I am trying to understand why can the term not be used as both hardware and software? I'm not really debating or extremely passionate about any OS the way these people are but i am curious to see why android could not apply to both hardware and software.
Droid is just a branding of an android phone to differentiate between other companies...The Motorola Droid X is a verizon phone that is going to China somewhere but it is not referred to as a Droid but as an android phone.
Lol at the end of the day it is MY OPINION and I could be wrong but i don't understand or see how it could not be an umbrella term

You totally missed my pt. But that's ok. But for the record I acknowledged android as an os in my earlier comments and differentiated as I used EVO and the G2 as examples of hardware using Android.

sry... totally didnt read the "@Carmendiva" part.. everythings smashed together on the mobile version of this post o_O.

Has no one here heard of the lawsuit Oracle has filed against Google's Android OS? Google has copied and pasted 36 different files from Oracle's Java OS IP directly into Android. Oracle will win the copyright lawsuit hands down and that could be the end of Android OS. At the very least, Android OS will no longer be free to manufacturers. On top of that, both Apple and Microsoft have many patent lawsuits against Android using cell phone manufacturers.
Android phones, if they continue to exist, will become a whole lot more expensive in the near future.

So will iOS phones become more expensive because of the Nokia lawsuit? Get real. As stated already, the files you mentioned have already been shown not to be a part of Android. If you know about the original controversy from the other day then you certainly know about about the massive smackdown that came about when the truth was revealed later that day. You chose to conveniently ignore that though.

You sound like a young tyke trying to bad mouth the girl who turned you down at prom, lol.
Already been stated that those files in questions were not pasted into Android. That's done.
Next, even IF they did have to pay for Android..what would make it different from Windows Mobile/Windows Phone? They had to pay and still had cheap phones. So eh.
Last, as someone mentioned, if lawsuits cause prices to inflate...that means iPhone should be a pretty penny right now. So should every phone on the face of this planet.
Apple has lawsuits. Moto does. Samsung, RIM, LG, Kodak, my granny's pig.
This is common...and most companies prepare for legal battle. This is all common in any business.

The chances of what you predict happening are slim to none. Of course anything is possible. Either way, this segment of the smartphone market has to be filled by someone. Apple can't possibly manufacture phones for everyone nor do I think they would want to. As the venerable Judge Smails once said, "The world needs ditch diggers too!"

iPhone on Verison will likely see some gains but the major change we'll probably end up seeing once the dust settles is more a redistribution of the existing iPhone users.

It is ALL about the brand, at the upper end. Lower end, it's all about price. As for brands, only iPhone and Droid (and Blackberry, for now) exist. Any other Android device is seen as "like a Droid" which is, in turn, "like an iPhone." That won't sell with brand-conscious consumers. They'll sell a ton of Android devices based on price, but that will eventually drag the Droid brand down as well. The same thing happened with desktops and notebooks. What were once perceived as premium brands, like HP, are now made and sold as cheaply as no-name computers. So, again, they'll sell a lot of Android handsets (probably many more than iPhones), but it will be a low-margin mess, much like the state of Windows PCs.

And that's so horrible because these companies who sell PC's are struggling to stay afloat. =|
That's the norm of a business in case you haven't figured that. Apple is above norm because they charge a premium...and people (including myself because I did purchase a MacBook Pro) buy it just for that premium.
It's like fashion. Most of these clothes are made with the EXACT same cotton your $1 tshirt is made with. Only difference...a name is attached and they make limited numbers. Hence why your jeans that should only be about $20 are now priced at $400. And they make pure profit on every jean sold.

But in the end...what does it matter? I mean seriously Rene, you do these things to rile up the cross OS boys and girls who love Android but use iOS (so they come here, like I do).
My point...Yes, Droid is the brand. But just as much...Evo is the brand. Galaxy S is the brand. MyTouch. Nexus. And everybody knows it has Android Market (it's one of the selling points on every single seller's display board). So saying not too many people know about Android...I doubt that.
BUT sticking with that...lets say it's true. Lets say nobody knows what Android is (which I don't really know why that's such a bad thing, nobody ever cared about the OS in olden days), still...what does it matter? Being someone who talks about phones all the time...on Twitter, Facebook, at work...even working in places such as Best Buy...many people know what Galaxy S is. They know what Droid is. They know the MyTouch line and the "G" line of Android phones. Even just as important, they recognize the Sense UI. People see the it. Won't it. But don't wanna leave their carrier. They see that a similar UI (albeit different screen sizes) is on T-Mobile, AT&T, and matter the moniker attached. These things is what sell it.
You and everyone else keeps saying "iPhone users equal all of Android users across carriers". Why shouldn't that be so? What does that prove?
When you only have ONE place to get a certain item...wouldn't that be a high number. That's like saying Apple Store sells more Macs than any retailer sells a single PC. Well...when I can choose a PC from Best Buy, Staples, HH Gregg, Wal-Mart, Target, etc...I would expect Apple Store to be selling more Macs because that's the only place you can get them.
The true test is what happens when the device is spread across like the Android phones are.
And that is what I await. Lets see this graph in another year's time. Compare the feature phone user numbers to the iOS user numbers to the Android user numbers.
Me personally, I feel as if the numbers will just even out. AT&T will push Android and sell it more (whereas they really didn't care cause their iPhone was all they needed for profit). Verizon will continue to push both iPhone and Droid wouldn't make sense to put that much money into a push and then abandon it. Sprint will continue with their Evo iteration, most likely adding a new one down the road. T-Mobile will continue with their MyTouch and G series....bringing back the Sidekick line (hopefully that will be successful).
Android and iOS will coexist. Blackberry, WP7, and WebOS are the ones that will be sideline competitors. How is it not hard to see that? I mean...the fact that most "competition" articles on this site and others are based between iOS and Android proves that.

Being an EVO user, the last thing I want is a way smaller screen, a phone that does not have voice commands, does not have the option to remove my battery to put in a new one when I don't have time to charge, a phone that will not let me go on Ebay and buy a cheap SD card to expand my memory, a phone that is on lock down by Apple, that doesn't have flash and no 4G. The iPhone is a great phone for people that just want to do basic stuff (text, games & talk) but if you want a phone that does SO much more then the iPhone will bore you. You can have the iPhone cause I LOVE MY EVO!