Google: Makes money by selling ads. Has a smartphone OS that helps them sell ads on search results, apps, etc. Upset with Apple’s foray into advertising. Starting to feel the pinch of a possible iPhone for Verizon, their most visible Android partner.
Verizon: Makes money by selling bits. Sells dozens of phones with dozens of different operating systems from dozens of different manufacturers. Has sunk some money into Droid, but isn’t married to the platform. Will go with whichever benefits their bottom line most.
Apple: Makes money selling software, and some bits. Just got into the ad space with iAds. Their iPhone sells its own bits and sells its own ads. Doesn’t like making concessions to wireless carriers, and will call them out in public. If they launch a version of their iPhone for Verizon, Verizon isn’t likely to get a cut of their App, Music, Video, or Ad market. Those are all bits that Verizon wants to charge extra for.
iTunes Cloud: Live streaming of a user’s purchased iTunes tracks to any supported device. Only likely supported phone platform? iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. No phone carrier is going to get a cut of tracks purchased for this service.
Net Neutrality: Means that carriers aren’t allowed to slow down certain kinds of internet traffic to help their business goals. Means that iTunes Cloud can stream as many tracks as the user is willing to buy bandwidth for. Means Verizon doesn’t get a cut aside from their 3G bandwidth spectrum pricing, which is getting cheaper all the time despite their (recent) complaining about capacity problems.
Dots: Partially connected.