Is Verizon Set to Launch a Better iPhone? A Look at the LG Voyager

Since Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone is exclusive to wireless provider AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) has decided to create an iPhone look-a-like that boasts better features and should put the iPhone to shame, or will it?

In the bigger scheme of things, does this make Verizon a more attractive stock to buy over AT&T?

The LG Voyager

Set to launch in November with an estimated $250 – $300 price tag the look-a-like competitor is being made by LG, dubbed the VX10000 Voyager.

Like the iPhone, the LG Voyager featured a large touch screen, a camera, multimedia, web browsing, and e-mail capabilities. However, the Voyager has something the iPhone does not, the ability to fold the phone open lengthwise to reveal a keyboard and 2nd non-touch screen.

Speed wise the Voyager will utilize Verizon Wireless’ latest data network which boasts speeds much faster then the AT&T network used by the iPhone.

One con of the new Voyager phone is the lack of a large built in memory to hold songs and videos. Memory will have to be purchased extra with cards availabe up to 8 gigs. Another con is in the main screen size, the iPhone’s is larger.

A Visual Comparison

Take a look at the following pictures of both the LG Voyager and Apple iPhone and see what you think (Voyager image from Gizmodo). Click either to enlarge.

LG VX10000 Voyager Phone LG VX10000 Voyager

Apple Iphone Apple’s iPhone

Remember the big difference between the two that is not seen here is the fact that the LG Voyager has an added keyboard and extra non-touch screen when you slide the phone horizontally. One of the biggest complaints from iPhone users is the lack of a fully functioning keyboard.

Stock Comparison

So which is the more attractive stock, AT&T (T) or Verizon (VG)?

A look at Verizon’s stock chart from sister blog shows Verizon at new multi-year highs (For education read my post on how to read stock charts). Verizon’s stock closed yesterday at $45.34 and for the 2007 year is up 21.8%.

A look at AT&T’s stock chart shows AT&T also at new multi-year highs, though as of the $42.41 close yesterday is only up 18.6% for the 2007 year.

At this point it looks like Verizon is a better play on the wireless market over AT&T. AT&T is close to twice the size of Verizon (market capitalizations of $256 Billion versus $131 Billion) and I think this is a positive for Verizon. Applying generalized thinking, the larger the company the harder it is to find strong growth. Verizon has shown better accumulation from institutional investors lately and to me this is makes the stock a better buy.

The Bottom Line

How the Verizon iPhone look-a-like will fair in the cell phone market is still to be determined. The LG Voyager has a lot of potential to give Verizon customers something new to hype and get excited about. The iPhone continues been a huge success though, selling over 1 million units since its debut.

And when it comes to stocks, Verizon is up 21.8% on the year versus AT&T being up only 18.6%. As well, Verizon is under some strong accumulation from institutional investors. Between the two companies a winner can be found in Verizon over AT&T as a more attractive buy right now.

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