If you want to buy an iPhone, Verizon "would really, really like you to consider an alternative," says David Goldman at CNN. According to a growing pile of anecdotal evidence and Goldman's own reporting, Verizon's sales staff is putting serious pressure on undecided customers to go with Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, or the LG Lucid, all of which use Google's Android software. Verizon insists that it has no policy to discourage iPhone purchases, but there are some compelling reasons why the wireless carrier would make such a move. Here, four reasons why Verizon might prefer that you go with Android:
1. Subsidies for the iPhone are expensive
Verizon and other carriers "pay much heftier up-front subsidies for the iPhone than for other devices," says Goldman. Each iPhone costs Verizon an average of $400, and to entice customers Verizon is forced to sell the phones at a discount. The carrier hopes to make back its loss over the life of a two- or three-year contract, but the practice still badly eats into its profits.
2. Verizon's 3G network is getting mighty crowded…
The iPhone only works on Verizon's 3G network, which has been slowing down due to overcrowding. The more iPhones Verizon sells, the more prone all its 3G customers will be to "blocked calls and dropped connections," says Sascha Sagan at PCMag.
3. …And its faster, 4G network is being wasted
Verizon has poured billions of dollars into developing its 4G/LTE network, which is much faster than its 3G network. The problem is that only 10 percent of its customers have migrated to 4G, meaning Verizon has a lot of incentive to push new customers there. And the only phones that work in 4G use an Android platform.
4. Android devices are better
A Motorola Droid Razr, hooked up to Verizon's 4G network, can "download anything 10 times faster than the iPhone," says Chris Matyszczyk at CNET. The battery lasts longer, and the screen is bigger. Perhaps that's why Verizon sales staff are pushing the Razr and the Lucid — they honestly don't want you to end up with a phone that will soon be out of date.