Saturday, April 18, 2009

Verizon Was Never On The Horizon

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Seidenberg [Verizon CEO] also addressed the notion of Apple Inc.'s iPhone ever coming to the Verizon Wireless network, saying it is more likely that Apple would be willing to work with the carrier under the fourth-generation, or 4G, network, which follows the same technology standard as AT&T Inc.'s 4G plans. He said Apple never seriously considered making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it didn't have as wide a distribution opportunity.

Here's quotable proof that Verizon wasn't even considered in negotiations for the iPhone. I do think T-Mobile might have been an option; as was an MVNO [Mobile Virtual Network Operator]. T-Mobile made a number of key acquisitions of smaller GSM carriers like SunCom to be visible in key cellphone markets - such as my own. I live around the Greenville SC area - the largest per capita cellphone market in the country. Until Mid 2008 - we didn't have T-Mobile anywhere in the state with the exception of a small area of the beach. It use to be just AT&T and SunCom providing GSM [sim card] service here. It's my belief that T-Mobile specifically made these acquisitions to strengthen their "phone deals" - one of those deals being specifically to be a suitor to Apple.

All the rumors that have kept saying "Verizon negotiations broke down" and "Verizon may get iPhone after all" - were COMPLETE fabrications with no attributable source. It wasn't even good speculation.

I know of dozens of contacts, including my wife and daughter that specifically switched from Verizon because of the iPhone - I'd imagine with additional features of the new iPhone coming in June 2009 - Verizon will lose a few million more subscribers.


Anonymous said...

Its really not a matter of Verizon "not being considered" for the iPhone
originally, but more a matter that Verizon did not want to make the concessions and pay the money that AT&T was willing to pay. Currently reports state that AT&T is subsidizing the iPhone at least $300 per unit. Additionally, knowing Steve Jobs and his negotiating style, it is unlikely that Verizon wanted to cede the amount of control that he was demanding. There is little doubt that there were cdma prototypes of the iPhone and that Apple did approach Verizon, Alltel, Sprint,et al with the concept and ultimately went with the company that would yield the most control and dollars in exchange for an exclusive deal. Made sense for Apple, made sense for AT&T.

This should not reflect negatively at all on Verizon. They chose to go another way. In some ways it has hurt them because they have lost Apple loyalists to AT&T. By the same token, however, they have gotten many back.

The Apple iPhone is alone in its class; there is nothing else that can really surpass it at this point, because it is an Apple product.

There are, however, multiple benefits to being a Verizon Wireless customer that when added together make a good argument for NOT going over to AT&T even for a great device like the iPhone. People are starting to see that more and more. Verizon has undisputedly the best network in the US and the best range of services in addition to the highest level of customer satisfaction.

The iPhone continues to stay with AT&T because AT&T demands and pays for exclusivity. It is the device that is keeping AT&T competitive in the data world. Verizon has many great devices, the sum total of which surpass iPhone sales and customers. Verizon is number one in the US and will stay so regardless of what the iPhone does.

Further, the Blackberry Storm is gaining momentum. Launched too quickly in a bad economy, it has still done quite well considering. The Blackberry equivalent to the Apple Apps store has just launched this past week to good reviews and the Storm 2 is already being rumored for a Summer/Fall launch.

Verizon will continue to be number one, with the benefits listed above. The iPhone will continue to be the best device in its class, but many people will choose to stay with Verizon and come over from other networks (AT&T included) to get the sum total of what Verizon offers that AT&T does not and can not.

FYT said...

There is no Blackberry equivalent to the Apple app store ... Can you point me to the bird watching app? What about the stargazing app? The blackberry is crippled without wifi.

At&t's numbers out today indicate 540,000 specifically switching in the last quarter FROM verizon - let's combine that with previous quarters 5.4 million since the iPhone's introduction ... maybe not all for the iPhone specifically ... But probably a good chunk.

Verizon has grown equally to it's acquisitions ... not a subscriber more.

Verizons network in the USA has better coverage in some areas ... But at&t is far more ubiquitous worldwide and has better coverage in big cities.

Bonus: where can I get on free wifi (like McDonalds and Starbucks) with a Verizon phone.

Anonymous said...

The Blackberry App World store just launched, but Blackberry has a large backload of applications having been in existence far longer than the iPhone.

Google Microsky or Starry Night are both available currently for the Blackberry and a birding application appears to be in development.

The lack of wifi doesn't cripple the Blackberry, nor does it cripple any of Verizons other pda phones. All Blackberry and PDA plans come with unlimited internet and email and the speed is more than adequate. I had wifi on my PDA phone before I got the Storm and never used it.

Verizon Wireless added 1.4 million new retail subscribers Q4 of 08. That is in ADDITION to subscribers added as a result of the Alltel acquisition.

AT&Ts numbers don't include those who have come back to Verizon after experiencing disappointing coverage and customer service.

All of the providers have good coverage in the big cities. AT&Ts coverage falls off sharply when travelling away from big ciies. Check out the comments and coverage maps on this website.

Verizon subscribers that travel on a regular basis have the option of purchasing world-capable phones. Additionally, the Blackberry Storm is a quad-band world phone and currently being Verizon's best-selling phone by far is chipping away at AT&Ts lead in worlddwide coverage. Additionally, there are several large areas including China and most Asian countries, Canada,several countries in South America and Mexico that are CDMA-only and AT&T phones will not work there. It is primarily Europe that is GSM only. All of this is about to change in another year with the emergence of a new world standard that Verizon is currently developing anyway. Finally, most subscribers aren't world travellers anyway and it doesn't matter that AT&T has coverage overseas because they don't use it there.