by Al Sacco

DROID RAZR MAXX Tops iPhone on Verizon…but Not for Long

Jun 14, 20123 mins

Apple's iPhone is no longer the King of the Hill at Verizon Wireless, but the new top-selling Android-based DROID RAZR MAXX will likely fall behind the iPhone again later this year, when Apple is expected to unveil a 4G/LTE iPhone.

Apple’s iPhone has been dethroned as the King of Smartphones for the first time, at least on one major U.S. wireless carrier, according to investment-banking firm William Blair. But the reign of Motorola’s DROID RAZR MAXX, the device that reportedly outsold the Verizon iPhone last quarter, will very likely be short-lived.


William Blair’s Anil Doradla says the company is seeing “slippage” in Apple’s grip on the smartphone market on all major U.S. wireless carriers, particularly Verizon, but he’s still giving Apple’s stock an “outperform” rating based on confidence that the company will wow consumers with a next-generation iPhone.

From a report:

“Since Apple’s iPhone launch in North America, we believe this was the first quarter where the iPhone was not the best?selling smartphone at a North American mobile operator (where it was available). While Apple continued to maintain its top position at AT&T and Sprint, Motorola’s Droid RAZR MAXX was the best? selling smartphone at Verizon. Our checks also indicate that at this stage consumers are not pausing in front of the iPhone launch as it is not influencing their purchasing decisions (but we expect it to start impacting over the next couple of months). Despite the ‘increased competitive landscape from 4G devices (and the iPhone 4S is not 4G),’ Doradla is ‘not worried’ as the next iPhone model, a true 4G phone, ‘will be an important catalyst for the company,’ he believes.”

And as much as I wish I could say the iPhone is finally seeing some real competition, I strongly agree with Mr. Doradla. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the DROID RAZR MAXX—in fact, I called it the best Android phone on the market back in March. But the main reason high-end smartphone buyers on Verizon are embracing devices like the DROID RAZR MAXX is that they support the carrier’s 4G/LTE network, and the iPhone 4/4S currently does not. (Verizon only sells the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.)

As soon as Apple releases an “iPhone 5” or “new iPhone” or whatever it decides to call its next-generation iPhone a significant portion of would-be-RAZR-buyers will jump all over iOS. And rumors suggest that next iPhone will be released before the end of 2012, possibly as early as September.

It’s worth noting, however, that even though Apple’s iPhone is the number one selling smartphone in the United States, Android is still by far the most popular mobile platform worldwide. Android currently commands 59 percent of the overall mobile space, with iOS at 23 percent, Symbian at 6.8 percent and BlackBerry at 6.4 percent, according to the latest edition of IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. Apple also currently offers only a handful of iPhone models—the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. More than 5,000 distinct Android devices are available from 600 or so different manufacturers, according to the developers behind the popular OpenSignalMaps Android app.