Jan. 11, 2011 at 11:23 AM ET
There's a lot of discussion out there about who wins, who loses with Verizon's long-awaited addition of the iPhone: On the winning side, the carrier itself, on the "losing" side, AT&T; Google, whose Android mobile operating system is now slightly ahead of the iPhone in the U.S. smart phone market; and carriers Sprint and T-Mobile, which don't/won't have an iPhone to offer.
But who really wins? You do. You, the consumer. After 3-1/2 years, there is finally real choice for the popular phone.
In those 3-plus years, AT&T exclusivity kept some consumers away from the iPhone, allowed for another operating system to be birthed and grow strong (Android), and yet others to spring up with punch (Palm, Windows Phone 7), and yet another, a manufacturer that laughed at the iPhone (BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion) to give Apple the last laugh, with sales of its devices hurt first by the iPhone, and then Android.
There are lots of analysts and journalists who will have things to say about today's announcement. But the only voice that really matters is yours.
If you want an iPhone, you can finally choose a carrier.
And, if you don't want an iPhone, you have a sea of outstanding contenders to consider from all carriers.
It's a day many of us have waited for, and it's akin to the second coming in the mobile world. How much it means to you is up to you — but that's the beauty of it: You will decide, with your heart — and your wallet.