Verizon gains more FiOS Internet, TV traction; delusional on iPhone impact

Summary:Verizon said Wednesday that it has 1 million FiOS Internet customers and nearly 500,000 FiOS TV viewers.The disclosure was made at the NXTcomm Conference (see Russell Shaw's blog coverage).

Verizon said Wednesday that it has 1 million FiOS Internet customers and nearly 500,000 FiOS TV viewers.

The disclosure was made at the NXTcomm Conference (see Russell Shaw's blog coverage). FiOS is Verizon's residential fiber-optic service that's encroaching on cable turf.

That Verizon is getting traction--not sure a family video of the 1 millionth subscriber is warranted--with FiOS isn't a surprise since it's a good deal.

On the iPhone front, however, Verizon is sounding a bit delusional.

Marguerite Reardon at NXTcomm quotes Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg downplaying the threat of the iPhone, which will be exclusively offered by AT&T.

Not surprisingly, Seidenberg says Verizon is set to compete against AT&T and Apple's iPhone. Duh. What's he going to say? Verizon is toast.

What's delusional about Seidenberg's comments is that he argues Verizon will compete on services like its V Cast music service and V Cast TV. The appeal of the iPhone is that you can sync it with your iTunes and view YouTube video--or shows and movies from iTunes.

If this plays out, Verizon's walled garden approach to TV and music will be rendered moot.

While Verizon may not take a subscriber hit initially AT&T/Apple's more open Web approach will matter over time. As a Verizon Wireless customer I'm already peeved I can't easily download the Opera Mini browser.

The future of mobile browsing is going to look a lot like the experience you get on your PC. Walled garden services aren't going to cut it. Time will tell if Verizon's array of devices and price points will fend off the iPhone. But if Verizon thinks its services are a differentiator against AT&T it's in for a rude awakening.

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Verizon

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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