Matt wonders why Verizon, which has by far the best network coverage, doesn't also have the best phones, thereby totally killing the competition:
No link here, just the observation that it seems to me that Verizon is working with a strangely unambitious business strategy. Basically, they've got themselves the best cell phone network out there. Their calculation seems to me that, given the superiority of their network, they ought to put forward a product that's inferior in other respects, secure in the knowledge that their network will always give them a healthy market share. A much better strategy, it seems to me, would be to offer the best network and the best phones and just drive everyone out of business. They seem to have reconciled themselves to trying to be like Toyota in the auto industry when they could achieve Microsoft-esque levels of domination if they wanted to.
My tenative explanation is that Verizon doesn't want Microsoft-esque levels of market domination. Coming out of a heavily regulated industry, Verizon probably has justifiable fears that if it really dominated the wireless market, regulators would descend like a ton of those old brick phones you see lying around people's junk drawers. Verizon wants to be the most powerful player in a decently competitive marketplace, which is what it is.
This still won't keep me from buying an iPhone when my contract is up next year, though. . .