Will the Need for Speed Trump Mobile OS Preference?

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mobiletv.jpgADOTAS – Thirty-eight years ago yesterday, Martin Cooper, then the general manager of Motorola’s communications systems division, made the first public mobile phone while strolling down the streets of New York. Cooper swears that “sophisticated New Yorkers” gazed at amazement as he chatted into a phone-like box held up to his ear, but I have trouble believing that — I’m sure most city dwellers ignored him, assuming he was another crazy person sending messages to his home planet.

In a witty column about this anniversary, veteran journalist Bob Greene shares that a mobile phone interview recently conducted with the 82-year-old Cooper was rendered useless by a lousy connection. My, how far we’ve come.

Smartphones are light years from the bulky mobile devices of yore, but users still bear the burden of carrier networks. As the Android/iPhone horse race remains too close to call, it’s curious to see if network speed will trump operating system concerns.

The latest interesting tidbit comes from a BTIG researcher who called up 150 Verizon stores to see what was selling faster: the iPhone or the new HTC Thunderbolt, launched two weeks ago on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. While 61% said the two were tied, 28% said the Thunderbolt was selling better, opposed to 21% that said the iPhone was the better seller.

A better analysis would come from examining Thunderbolt sales against the first two weeks of Verizon iPhone sales, but this is an interesting trend to follow — will mobile user thirst for speedier networks preempt operating system in importance?

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