Are Verizon Reps Pushing 4G Android Smartphones Over The 3G iPhone?

Is there some kind of anti-iPhone conspiracy going on at Verizon Wireless stores? Some customers think so, but perhaps it’s just a matter of 4G versus 3G. After all, there is no 4G-compatible iPhone for Verizon, and many customers want the fastest, newest technology. Or maybe it’s all one big secret deal conducted in dark corners with men in trench coats and fedoras!

CNNMoney’s David Goldman decided to take the questions being batted around on various online forums and put it to the test for himself, so he went out and had conversations with some Verizon reps in the New York area, as well as phone chats and online chat sessions.

He found that yeah, Verizon really does want you to get a 4G Android device, but perhaps not because of a deep-seated hatred of iPhones or any kind of deal with Android. There are more practical, sensible reasons.

In each of the 10 discussions, representatives steered me toward either the Motorola (MMI) Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, or the LG Lucid — all 4G-capable phones running Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android software. When I asked if those devices were better than the iPhone, they responded that the iPhone was an inferior alternative because it only runs on the company’s slower 3G network.

As one rep put it, “The iPhone is a great phone, but it’s on 3G. I’m not going to recommend a phone that’s outdated.”

Another says it costs the company money when customers purchase a 3G iPhone, then go home and figure out that they could be doing things faster with a 4G, and return the iPhone.

Verizon itself isn’t directly answering the question of whether or not reps are told to focus on Android devices.

“Our sales force’s mission is to ensure customers are familiar with our product line and to match the customer with the right device to best meet their needs,” Verizon Wireless spokesman Tom Pica said in a written statement. “At the end of the day, our goal is that every customer is delighted with the device that they have chosen.”

Verizon reps push 4G Android over iPhone [CNNMoney]