Verizon is publicly getting behind Microsoft in the smartphone war. During the company’s earnings conference call Thursday Verizon CFO Fran Shammo suggested that the carrier wants to help Windows Phone become more of a contender in the smartphone market.
“It is important that there is a third ecosystem that is brought into the mix here, and we are fully supportive of that with Microsoft,” Shammo said.
Carriers are currently dependent on Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS to drive most of their product sales. Carriers are traditionally responsible for paying the full retail price for any smartphones they sell. The iphone has a retail price starting at $600, which means the carrier is taking a huge hit when it sells you that phone for a mere $199 – something it then makes up for in hefty data charges.
Adding a third player into the mix would fuel competition amongst the handset makers which could ultimately lead to better devices as well as lower costs for both consumers and carriers.
Shammo noted that Verizon played a key role in growth of Android into the “incredible platform” it is today, and is “looking to do the same thing with a third ecosystem.” While T-Mobile was the first carrier to offer an Android device, it was Verizon who pushed the ecosystem into popularity. The “Droid” name –which was always a Verizon exclusive – has become a household name.
If it really threw it’s weight behind the platform, Verizon could potentially have a similar effect on Windows Phone. The platform has gotten off to a slow start. However, with the release of Windows Phone 8 –codenamed Apollo – later this year, the platform may be able to better keep up with Android and Apple’s high-resolution screens and faster data speeds.
While Android handsets have been running on LTE for some time. The first LTE Windows Phones –the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II – were released earlier this month. Apple is also expected to release an LTE iPhone late this year.
What do you think about Windows Phone? Do you think we need a third ecosystem, or is Apple and Android enough?
April 23, 2012