It could be argued that thanks to Apple’s exclusivity deal with AT&T, Android handsets became the People’s Sour-Grapes iPhone. For individuals already locked into other networks or unwilling to take on a contract with AT&T, Google’s open-source mobile OS, when paired with the right hardware makes for an excellent alternative to Cupertino’s trendsetting handset. According to some increasingly credible rumors, the American cellular landscape will be undergoing a significant change in the early months of 2011: AT&T will no longer be the only game in town in you want to get your mitts on an iOS powered smartphone, as Apple is purportedly ready to unveil a iteration of the iPhone that will function on Verizon‘s network in early 2011. Despite the fact that the iPhone’s primary competition of late has come from companies selling hardware with running one flavor of Android or another, the Cupertino-based tech company owes a debt of gratitude to Google: Without Android handsets gobbling up data like it was going out of style, Verizon wouldn’t have been able to anticipate whether or not their network in its current state could sustain the added user demand that will come with the company’s introduction of the iPhone.
In a story posted this morning, The Wall Street Journal details how after observing Android’s performance on their network, Verizon’s infrastructure geeks feel they can confidentially roll out new Apple hardware without fear of the same poor performance that was suffered by iPhone users back when the handset was first launched on the AT&T network. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone stated that he felt that if his network could sustain the data load that came with the introduction Android handsets, then Verizon would most certainly be ready to bear the impact of the iPhone arrival as well. “The Android experience gives me confidence we can engineer a great data network. We are planning for growth,” Melone said. “We build capacity, cushion and contingency.”
If nothing else, those hoping to see the iPhone on the Verizon network in the new year can take comfort in the fact that should the handset arrive, the company is at least planning ahead for it. That’s got to count for something.
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