The mobile phone market is extremely competitive with each company trying to beat out the rest with the best and biggest phones, accessories and abilities. There was a time when phones were only good for actually talking to people until texting came along.
Soon, there was mobile internet at slow speeds, then 3G and now 4G broadband internet speeds. With so many phones out there and each one offering new technologies, mobile phone carriers needed a way to stay ahead of the competition. They began offering certain phones exclusively for their networks.
Originally, phones were pretty much interchangeable. The same Samsung or Nokia phone that was on Verizon could also be found on AT&T. If this wasn’t the case, it was more likely because the company didn’t have a contract with that particular company rather than exclusivity.
That all changed with the iPhone. The original iPhone was a revolutionary step forward in the mobile phone market. It allowed you full access to the internet and you could download programs called apps from the iTunes store.
Apple had become the standard for MP3 players thanks to their popular series of iPods and they took that technology to the next level by adding a phone feature. Rather than open up the floodgates and let anyone sell their product, Apple and AT&T organized a deal where the phone would only be sold for their customers. That means that Verizon and other carriers wouldn’t have the ability to sell it. The customers could get Verizon internet with other phones but not the iPhone. Since there was nothing else like it on the market, the iPhone quickly became the leading phone in the world and it catapulted AT&T profits.
By the time the Android operating system came around, the iPhone had been on top and wasn’t going to relinquish its position. Verizon was able to secure an exclusivity deal with the first Android phones. Since then, exclusivity for cell phones has become a major selling point for many companies.
Everyone is banking on becoming the next iPhone. For example, AT&T has a slate of 4G LTE Windows Smartphones by Nokia and HTC that are only available to their customers. The Nokia Lumia 900 has a 4.3-inch touchscreen with 512 megabytes of Ram and a 1.4-gigahertz processor.
Verizon also has a slate of exclusive phones that use the Android operating system. The HTC Thunderbolt with its 4.3-inch screen with 8-megapixel camera was one of the first 4G devices sold exclusively by Verizon. It is able to access Verizon internet and includes a kickstand for easy viewing.
The Samsung Droid Charge is also sold exclusively at Verizon and is a lot like the Thunderbolt but includes a pre-installed media hub, so you can rent and buy movies and television shows.
As the cell phone revolution continues, companies will continue to compete for the latest and greatest in cell phone technology. While many have tried to knock the iPhone from the top of the list, there hasn’t been anything to really challenge it. As tablet computers become more popular, they are also entering the realm of exclusivity.
Apple has made its company an icon among cell phones because of its initial exclusivity deal with AT&T and it became the benchmark for those phones that came after. Smartphones are everywhere and many of them offer the same features but with just enough difference to make it interesting.