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Verizon Rains on Apple's Parade

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WHAT'S THAT IN THE PUNCHBOWL?
DailyFeed

It's truly an auspicious week for the Apple (AAPL) crew.

The WWDC event in San Francisco is still reeling from the glut of introductions, announcements, and unveilings which promise to turn attendees' iPhones, iPads, and Macs into more magical devices. And amid all the upcoming whiz-bang features, Apple made one thing abundantly clear: It really, really hates Google (GOOG), and it's doing everything in its power to drag the dominant Android OS down to BlackBerry (RIMM) and Windows Phone (MSFT) levels.

But according to a recent report by William Blair's Anil Doradla, Verizon (VZ) has made things a little more difficult for Cupertino to do just that.

While more Android devices are sold throughout the world, the iPhone is still the top-selling mobile device on AT&T (T) and Sprint (S). For Verizon, however, that distinction is granted to Android's Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, the 4G LTE smartphone with an extra capacity battery for longer talk time and web use.

Doradla relates that this is the first time where the iPhone wasn't the best-selling smartphone for a stateside provider which carried the device.

He writes, "[Our] checks highlight initial signs of Apple's momentum under pressure, particularly at Verizon, which we believe is from the operator aggressively marketing competing 4G devices."

Normally, a sales slowdown is typical in the months leading up to the launch of a brand new iPhone. But Doradla doesn't believe that's the case just yet and attributes the cause to the iPhone 4S' lack of 4G in a crowd of next-gen devices. (The MAXX's super capacity battery -- prominently hyped in the ads -- doesn't help its sales either.)

"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)," he writes.

Doradla adds that the upcoming iPhone 5, almost guaranteed to be 4G, "will be an important catalyst for the company."

For now, however, Apple will have to be content with being number two.

(See also: Verizon, AT&T Screw Over Their Customers Yet Again and AT&T Falsely 'Upgrades' iPhone 4S to 4G)

Twitter: @mcs212

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