For years there has been speculation by consumers about when and if the iPhone would move away from its exclusive contract with AT&T and become available to Verizon subscribers. After a recent announcement between Apple and Verizon, a version of the iPhone will hit Verizon’s shelves on February 10. Though Verizon customers will surely see this as a victory, the question lurks, how will this affect Google, which entered the handset market with its Android?
While the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T, Google had free reign to enter and dominate Verizon’s smart phone market with the Android. Though that freedom is nearly over, it’s not all bad for Google. The good news is that the world’s leading search engine company has little reason to fear. Regardless of the handset being used, Verizon customers will continue to use Google for their phone-based search engine needs. You won’t see a shift any time soon in the practice from any Internet marketing company which will still use Google as the basis for figuring out how to make web marketing work.
It will be interesting to see what the shift in consumer taste will be once the 93 million Verizon subscribers are given the choice between the Android and iPhone. Google’s one notable loss when customers switch out their Android handsets in favor of the iPhone is that on the latter, Google isn’t a central figure on the phone. Those iPhone users won’t get the complete Google experience available on the Android but numbers show Google has just over a 98 percent market share of search engine traffic. Whether it’s on a handset or laptop, Google continues to grow its search engine presence, forcing SEO consulting services to constantly monitor Google’s ever-growing market dominance.
One area that is being overlooked by the iPhone move is the market shared by other phone service providers. Sprint and T-Mobile don’t carry the iPhone, which allows space for Google to move its handset over to those markets. Speculation is that both providers will make a strong play to land the Android in their handset lineup, but no timetable is in place for that to happen. Hopefully for Sprint and T-Mobile, it doesn’t take two to three years of development, which was about the length of time that Apple and Verizon were secretly working together before releasing the Verizon-based iPhone.
So after losing its monopoly with Verizon customers, where does Google go from here? Up seems to be a semi-illogical conclusion but based on current phone-based Internet search engine trends, it might not be that far off. Google will still be the preferred searching destination for consumers. Regardless of whether Verizon’s customers choose the iPhone over the Android, there will still be the need for every San Diego web design firm to build mobiles sites compatible with a variety of Internet-capable smart phones.