I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for about 5 years now. However, it's only since the iPhone has been released that I've really started to resent the company.
Two years ago, Apple partnered with AT&T in an exclusive deal to bring the iPhone to the masses… and for two years, Verizon has continued to provide incomparable, pitiful and wholly worthless smartphones to its customers. Windows Mobile 6, 6.1… even 6.5? It doesn't have ANYTHING on the iPhone operating system. For all intents and purposes, it's Windows 3.1 in a Windows 7 world.
So, for two years, I've been holding my breath just waiting for either Apple or AT&T to break their exclusive contract and grant those of us addicted to the stability of the VW network a capable and actually smart "smartphone." That day has yet to come.
However, this week brought new hope to those like myself. Not by news that the iPhone was now free but by news that the almighty Verizon has now partnered with the almighty Google to bring the next generation of Google's Android phones to Verizon's remarkably-solid network. How is Android supposed to make someone like me happy? Well, first off, the Android platform is mostly developer-friendly. This means that I get access to all of those wonderful "apps" that make the iPhone such a sought-after device. (Granted, not the exact same apps - for the most part - but apps that serve the same purpose as their iPhone-equivalents.) Second, the interface for Android is much more touch-friendly than the Windows Mobile phones with which us Verizon-devotees have been forced to deal. No more tiny, barely-visible "OK" buttons. No more inexcusably-miniscule on-screen keyboard.
This dream of an actual intelligent smartphone living on the Verizon network could even arrive quicker than you might think - the first device is expected to arrive within the next two weeks. Rumor has it that the first one could either be what's currently known as the HTC Hero or the Motorola Cliq.
Support for Microsoft's Exchange environment on the Android platform looks to still be up in the air but it appears as though steps are being taken to enable that functionality since the recently-released MyTouch 3G enabled support for Exchange mail - just not calendars or contacts.) Of course, even though this functionality isn't enabled natively, there are still ways to get the Exchange information you need on your Android device via 3rd-party apps and tweaks.
So, what do you think about all of this? Will you be waiting in line for an Android-Verizon device or will you be holding out for the iPhone? Drop a line in the comments section below.