Like a trail of bread crumbs, we've finally followed the rumors of Verizon iPhone to its inevitable conclusion. After months of speculation where everything from where Verizon's official Twitters were coming from, to domains that were being purchased became hints to the eventual release of a Verizon iPhone, the actual device has arrived. While changes to the phone's look and operation are minimal, and apps that run on an AT&T phone will run just as effectively on a Verizon phone, there are some points to this new development that could affect the app business, both for iPhone and Android.
Development of apps
Verizon iPhones will already come loaded with utility apps unavailable to AT&T users, including a Hotspot app and a VCast media app, but what the long-term implications could be remains unknown. After the success of Apple's app store, Verizon decided to take the diametric opposite of Apple's approach, and open its network data to developers. The question is, will Verizon extend that same network data to developers for iPhone. If so, a whole new realm of apps could open up that are exclusive to Verizon and use its network-based location data and messaging service. While it would be unlikely that Apple would approve a Verizon app store, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
The market share of iPhone
Like a dark horse, the Android operating system has grown to 44% of the overall smartphone market in the third quarter of last year, finally overtaking iPhone and Blackberry. However, this is due in part to the fact that mobile service providers, like Verizon, have had few other options to push besides Android since iPhone wasn't available. Over at AT&T, iPhone accounts for about 80% of the company's smartphone purchases. If Verizon customers now have an option, which phone will they choose?