Verizon iPhone Not Bogging Down Big Red’s Network – Yet

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The Verizon Wireless network seems to be handing the addition of the iPhone just fine, thank you – unlike rival AT&T, which quickly sagged under the weight of extra data traffic generated by iPhone users.

But could that be because sales of the hot Apple device are lower than Verizon expected? And, if so, if sales do reach the 10 million mark – as Verizon hopes for this year alone – network performance certainly could change.

Web-application performance firm Compuware Gomez says Verizon’s mobile data performance is about the same now as it was before the iPhone finally came to Big Red last week. At the same time, reports are circulating that advance orders for the Verizon iPhone totaled a mere 550,000, and that just 14 percent of people buying the device defected from AT&T – the exclusive iPhone carrier in the United States from 2007 until last month.

On top of that, lines at Verizon’s retail stores have been (if you’re standing in the queue, mercifully) short. That’s generating buzz that maybe the millions of people expected to make a rush for the Verizon iPhone won’t materialize. To be fair, a Verizon Wireless spokesman told the Wall Street Journal the company is pleased with iPhone sales so far, and says suggestions that the results are disappointing are “inaccurate."

Indeed, one wonders if Verizon Wireless is cannibalizing its own success. The operator was among the first to debut Android-powered smartphones, to combat the iPhone’s popularity at AT&T. Android devices have gained a wide, faithful following, perhaps at the expense of the iPhone on the Verizon Wireless network. Recall that, last month, Verizon Wireless even offered refunds to people who bought Android phones over the holidays if they wanted an iPhone instead. 

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