Verizon users waiting for iPhone 5 to ditch Android en masse?

Android users switching to iPhone 5?

Needham analyst Charlie Wolf thinks most Verizon Android users have been holding out for the iPhone 5, and once it's released, a mass exodus from the Android platform will ensue.

Verizon’s Android users are waiting for the iPhone 5. And when it arrives this fall, they’ll make the switch en masse.

Wolf suspects some Verizon subscribers chose not to pick up the Verizon iPhone after it debuted last February, some 8 months later than the iPhone 4 on AT&T.

“It’s reasonable to assume that a material percentage of Verizon subscribers who plan to switch were content to wait until the iPhone 5 arrived later this year,” says Wolf. “One reason Apple delayed the launch of iPhone 5 until September is that it reportedly plans to coordinate the launch of the GSM and CDMA versions of the phone. To do so in June would likely have upset Verizon subscribers who purchased iPhone 4 in the preceding months. It’s our expectation, then, that the anticipated surge in iPhone sales on the Verizon network is likely to occur this fall after Apple launches iPhone 5.”

TiPb has heard that the Verizon deal was a factor in Apple not launching iPhone 5 in June. However, it's just as likely that Verizon users are on contracts with a wide range of end dates, and would be penalized for switching outside their renewal window. If they want a full subsidy, especially for a device that's been on the market since June 2010, they'd wait for it. That means, rather than a sudden rush last February or this fall, we could see a slow, steady transition over time as contracts come up for renewal, and those Verizon users who want an iPhone make the switch.

Of course, not everyone is going to want an iPhone either. By fall there will no doubt be new Verizon Android devices out as well, including those with LTE data speeds -- something iPhone isn't suspected to match until 2012. That could make the decision more difficult and more complicated.

What do you think? Will Verizon Android users be switching en masse come iPhone 5 this fall?


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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Verizon users waiting for iPhone 5 to ditch Android en masse?


I doubt it. The iPhone is hugely popular but Android devices are as well. While I can certainly see myself using an iPhone, especially since I am typing this on my iPad, I cannot say that I'd want to get rid of my current Android device to switch to an iPhone. There are plenty of people who are waiting, for sure, but I doubt what this "analyst" is saying.

Yeah right. Just like the iPhone 4 was supposed to be a huge success on Verizon, sold out online, bla, bla bla.
Funny how all those "analysts" work right into Apple marketing, creating factoids to give sales a little jolt where they did not meet expectations.
Needham is an investment bank. The real story is, how have they been pushing Apple shares to their clients and what kind of return have they promised.

I agree with your sentiment about Needham and that this article, and I think that this article has no legs to stand on.
However I want to make a small correction to a fact. The iPhone 4 was a success on Verizon, in terms of raw sales numbers. It's just that Apple and Verizon don't post sales numbers until shareholder calls, and there were no huge lines at Verizon stores like there were at AT&T for Apple to use as part of the marketing spin. At one point the Verizon iPhone was selling faster than the fastest Android phone, which at the time was the HTC Thunderbolt. Look up the sales numbers from the last Apple shareholder call and you'll see.

I agree, but Apple and "analysts" were expecting a HUGE success, and a massive migration from Android, which never happened. It sold well on Verizon, and was a success by many standards, just not the success that Apple marketing wanted.
Apple shares have been taking a bit of a dive since the end of May and are at the lowest since December. I think we will see a lot of analysts from investment banks forecasting huge successes for iPhone 5.

This "freedom" you speak of may go away soon. Don't get me wrong, Android is cool an all but phone manufacturers need to quit messing with android and let it grow.
If anything, I am looking forward fo rthe day that google starts setting standards in the upcoming versions of android. That will allow better developer suppport and tell phone manufacturers to shove it.

or at least have the option to remove the bloatware and switch back and forth between stock UI and Sense/touch wiz/Moto Blur etc with a simple tap in settings (or even from Menu > Themes )

thats me and like 20 others that i know so the people who know what they are doing are waiting, but no new subscribers will join.

This is exactly what I'm waiting for. Not a huge androi fan I've got the droid x. Word is no unlimited data though:(

Those latest numbers are made by an analyst. Not IDC themselves. Try and find the direct link to IDC for that specific chart...

I made the jump already. While I loved Android, the Thunderbolt was such a piece of $#!+, so I traded it for an iPhone. Nobody's hardware comes close to Apple. iOS 5 is going to mop up any complaints I currently have, and I should be content with iPhone 4 until my next upgrade arrives. Hopefully there will be an LTE iPhone by then!

iOS 5 is going to be major. There are things that steve did not menton that will be in the final. Ever the more reason to switch!

Android=bloatware, malware, fragmentation, slow, buggy, no apps, crappy apps,poor support poor build quality.
But its "open"! Suckers.

People have their preferences for their own reasons. I was an iPhone user, and loved my iPhone, but recently made a strategic, researched switch to Android...and I'm so happy with the switch! I gained the benefits and capabilities that were my main reason for making the change.
In one sense Android and iOS are so different, but not so much in other ways. I've been a smart phone power user for years, so I know what matters most to me and my productivity, and Android is serving me better right now. Plus, Apple has largely gone from leading to playing catch-up with few true innovations at this point. Android and Android phones are progressing and innovating more quickly than iOS phones, though admittedly not as cohesively as iOS, but that's not an issue for me and so many. Android is still easy to use, and it offers so many more options and customer choice, and it's so much more flexible -- you can keep it simple, or customize the heck out of's up to you.
I also found that basically all the apps I had on my iPhone were also available on Android except for a couple games, and with a better refinement in the Android Market than the massive number of redundant crappy apps you find in the Apple App Store. And more and more important apps that were missing are coming to Android ever day.
So, I liked my iPhone but am so much happier and better served by my Android phone.

Yeah I've used it also and I agree withe very word of that comment. That's the last time I don't do my research before purchasing a phone.

i havent had any of those problems with my phone....i guess you just have to know how to use it huh? like me, i have no clue why anyone gets the iphone 4. i mean once you have it what do you do with it? put apps and alphabatize them? but again....i dont know how to use it

I think you will get a standard rush and spike from pent up demand you get like everything iPhone is launch but then quickly fall back to normal and have very little long term effect.

I doubt this as even in markets where iPhone was available for multiple carriers for quite some time (e.g. UK), Android is continuing to take market share and has overtaken iPhone. Some users will of course switch but not en masse.

Im waiting for my contract to end in Feb 2012 to switch to the iPhone 4s/5.... I know a lot of people not willing to pay $600+ for a new iPhone in the middle of their contract.... I think you will see a lot of new iPhone activations over all of 2012

I didn't even have my iPhone 3GS for a year when the 4 came out and I got it at full discount price. Att are fans of people that have been with them for a long time. I was one of those people. I think there will be a lot of people with that same option.

That has nothing to do with what's being said though. A phone losing exclusivity isnt a hit or miss. It's a definite thing. Only factor is when.
Every since Android launched, these so called analysts and fans/haters have said that Android is doomed. Won't succeed. Won't last.
Both Android, and iOS, have a foothold in the market. As long as they don't stop innovating like a certain Waterloo and Espoo company, they will maintain the top 2 spots. And contrary to belief, #2 spots isn't bad at all when it's double, even triple, what 3rd and lowers spots have.
I'd even go far enough to say Apple isn't even worried about market share. They have top profit share, mindshare, and mediashare. Developers are going to create for that platform no matter what. So why would they worry about something so trivial as top spot.
All in all, this is the same man that said Android would be dead once iPhone hit Verizon. Now it seems he's trying to just make up for that failed forecast with another using information that has not been confirmed to be true.
If it happens, it happens. If not, then it doesn't. It won't change the fact of Android and iOS being the leaders in the smartphone world for a LONG time. And as an iOS and Android user, that's all I care about.

AT&T already has tiered data plans. They grandfathered the unlimited plans for those who wanted to keep it.

And thank god I kept my unlimited. I think this will change when LTE launches. That won't be considered "grandfathered" since we haven't had that yet. Technically anyway.

Yeah. That's my fear...Verizon use the new LTE network as a loop-hole for being grandfathered in to unlimited data. I guess it depends on how the contracts are written if they can say the LTE network is a different beast than their old data networks. Time will tell...

Same here. I like androids features, just not the battery life, lag and crappy sleection of apps.

I'm looking for a device that will run on Sprint out of the box. Hell I'd even spend $600 just to get it. I wont spend $600 on the EVO 3D even though I really want it. (given there is no word on a sprint iPhone and I'm already on a 2 year and I'm fine with my service)

Freedom with:
Crappy selection of apps
Crappy apps that crash all the time
poor battery life.
Crappy GUIs.

But what percentage will actully install a custom rom? Most general users will be fine with stock rom.

Fuck no i was thinking but i laugh when
NOTIFICATIONS was something new for apple ios5 :P
so whats the future if this is my next device?

Would apple really delay the worldwide launch of a product just so that they don't upset some customers of one carrier in one of the many countries in which the iPhone is sold?

No, a "fanboy" defends his device and think it is superior to all. Your rant would be a fact on your experience with it. So, who's really on the defense here?

Well said, exactly. Not to mention that you only feel like the coolest kid on the block for 2 or 3 months if most until you hear about a new device for android with better hardware.

It'd take something borderline impossible for the iPhone 5 to cause the kind of transition that this guy is talking about.
Consumers aren't stupid and aren't going to shift platform en-mass based on the iPhone 5 being shiney. Sure, some people may have gotten droid devices instead of iP4s because of launch date and their upgrade windows.
Buuuuuut once you've gotten invested in one of the eco-systems its tough to find reasons to leave. You learn to deal with the quirks of whatever device you've got and you love it because the vast majority of people don't have the choice to just drop $500+ on a new device.
To be brutally honest iPhones aren't offering anything that you can't get elsewhere. Now that doesn't mean they are bad, far from it they are superb devices, but the only really unique selling point they have is the iOS eco-system, and people who care about that already have iOS devices.
New people coming from dumb phones to smartphones ? Sure, they'll buy the new iPhone. People who love iOS ? Oh they'll camp out for one. People who've been on droid for a year ? Are you joking ?

Not so sure about that... My best friend has held out on upgrading his sprint android phone for the hope of an iPhone 5 on his network. He downloads all free apps, and android has no book or music store for his device, so he jas nothin invested in android

Again, you still wouldn't be a "fanboy" of the product you use. Not defending nothing here just correcting the use of the term you used. Everything that he stated was from his personal use of his product. Your response was juvenile. Instead you could have recommended a good rom. But instead people get offended and don't " Put the koolaid down every once and awhile and have a grown folks discussion."

I'd like to validate this point by giving a real world example. I work for a manufacturing company of about 4200 people based near Atlanta. Out of the 4200 people about 2700 have company phones through Veizon. Of which about 1900 are smart phones. (we let our employees upgrade their phones by payin the incremental costs.). Out of these 1900 nearly 1000 are iPhones and 650 android phones. When we asked how many people planned to switch after a new iPhone was released (I'm order for us to get the upgrades and contracts ready) We had 400 people saying they would definitly switch. As a devout android user I was somewhat dismayed at these numbers and had no idea that so many people were waiting for the new iPhone to switch

Android is a very capable OS. Although it does alot, unfortunately it doesn't do it very well from a user experience standpoint. Little things like the "bounce" effect when scrolling and the responsiveness of the keyboard are what really make iOS a winner for me. I, like most people, don't need a phone that can do "everything." I'd much rather have a device that does the few things I need extremely well. Call me what you want, but that's why I continue to purchase Apple products. Consumers aren't sheep as popular media would have you believe. I'd say 80% of the people I know who bought iPhones, did so because they had so many friends and colleagues who were extremely satisfied with their iPhones. At the end of the day, it's not the feature list that sells phones. It's the quality of the product, from hardware to software.

I just recently switched from iphone to android. I had every version of iphone, it just got stale to me. Ios is better os, but android for me just works better and easier for what I need to do. Widgets , luv the widgets, the panaramic like wallpaper. Apple needs to just get gangsta and steal the widgets. Thats one of things I meant by stale. You unlock the lock screen on the iphone, nothing ,just rows of apps. I unlock my android and its freaking alive. Just one reason
I wonder if ice cream sandwich will give ios a run for the money
Ok fanboi's good ahead and vent
Call me a troll and tell me to go back to android central
Any deragatory comments.......UUUUHHHH......yo mama

see thats the thing i wasnt speaking negatively towards ios at all, i was saying i dont know what I,(ME) would use it for. its boring to me thats all. im sure theres more that it can do i just would be easily bored with it because i havent invested much time into it. and you can call me a trolling fag if you like be that seems quite childish. there will always be people in this world that disagree with you, youll never learn anything if you call all of them a trolling fag. im here to learn thats it. i may make a small comment here and there but its mainly to see people like Thrsabanfactor get all butthurt and upset haha

This is 100% true, here's why.
I'm a long time Verizon customer. Since the first iPhone dropped on AT&T I said to myself "the second the iPhone comes to Verizon, it's MINE!!." In the meantime, as a way to experience iOS I've owned the iPod Touch 1G and 3G. Really great devices.
I almost switched to AT&T when iPhone 4 was announced, I just LOVED the redesign, but I couldn't bring myself to break with VZW.
You can imagine my delight when the announcement finally came that iPhone was coming to Big Red. Right now, I'm one year and two months into owning a DROID Incredible. I think the Android platform is great, but it's just not for me. One of my favorite features of Android is coming to the iPhone too: Notification Center!!
The second my plan is up for renewal you bet your sweet @ss I'm getting the iPhone 5. And I'd venture to say that any iPhone lover on VZW who owns a DROID is gonna follow suit.

What he said.
iPhone 5 won't destroy Android. Android came in at the right time and it's more open model helped it gain a foothold everywhere while Apple and AT&T were so exclusive.
But I'm in the same boat as Mr. Torres here. Waiting for my renewal (yay!) and iPhone 5 to be released (double-yay!). Android wasn't quite what I wanted, and I'm sick of the bloat that creeps into it. I wanted an iPhone forever and settled for Android to keep Verizon.
I think the analysts are right on this one. Had iPhone 4 released even 6 months earlier on Verizon it'd be different story. I know there are a lot of us Verizon Android people just holding out who didn't want to get stuck with iPhone 4 when we all knew iPhone 5 was overdue and our contracts are getting closer to the NE2 date every day...

No one on Verizon will be worried about the iPhone 5 unless it has LTE. With LTE coming out in most metropolitan areas before the end of 2011, what's the point in getting another 3G phone?

Android and Iphones appeal to completely different types of users so I believe both markets can co-exist without one completely obliterating the other.

I don't think so.
I had some battery issues with my Incredible upon launch but other than that it's stable.
IOS has some features like screen grabs, etc. that are lacking without rooting or third party apps in Android.
I love my android phone and I won an IPAD2 and LOVE IT.
I don't like my wife's iphone on verizon. I like parts of both operating systems.
I wish the iphone had a micro usb connector and could be used as a mass storage device out of the box like android.
Bottom line is who cares who is using what. It's all personal preference and what works for me may not work for you, etc.
My wife has trouble with my Droid Incredible and I have trouble with her Iphone.
At least these two OS's are pushing each other where RIM is now the Palm of the industry.