Verizon and the iPhone: Nothing to report today, but...

Verizon and the iPhone: Nothing to report today, but...

Summary: Updated: Apple is reportedly talking to Verizon Wireless about bringing the iPhone to the carrier, according to USA Today. And Verizon executives aren't exactly pooh-poohing the reports.


Updated: Apple is reportedly talking to Verizon Wireless about bringing the iPhone to the carrier, according to USA Today. And Verizon executives aren't exactly pooh-poohing the reports.  On a conference call, Verizon operating chief Dennis Strigl said the company is always talking to device makers, but had "no announcements to make relative to Apple today."

USA Today reported that Apple is in high-level talks about bringing the iPhone to Verizon Wireless. The news comes just a few days after AT&T chief Randall Stephenson said that the company was looking to extend its exclusive pact with Apple. Following Verizon's strong first quarter earnings, Strigl said the following:

We're always open to discussions with any supplier. We have no announcements to make relative to Apple today. Historically we haven't been dependent on any one device.

The message: Verizon Wireless could very well be talking to Apple---not that Strigl would say so directly. And Verizon is in a strong position since AT&T had its iPhone bump and the wireless carrier is still performing well. Reading between the lines, it could be that Apple needs Verizon Wireless' 86.6 million customers more than the wireless carrier needs the iPhone. Apple has an exclusive deal with AT&T, which has 78.2 million subscribers, but the iPhone's addressable U.S. market could more than double with a Verizon deal. 

A move to Verizon would be notable because the iPhone would be available on a CDMA wireless network compared to AT&T's GSM technology, according to USA Today. But is this a really big deal? Other phones work on both technologies. 

This Verizon-Apple story largely boils down to two words: Network and negotiation.

First, Apple is likely to want to expand iPhone distribution to other networks. And Verizon Wireless is the second half of a U.S. wireless potential duopoly. Why wouldn't Apple want to lock down the U.S. wireless market by having the two largest carriers in the fold?

And then there's the network reliability. Verizon Wireless' coverage is just better than AT&T's. And as Om Malik notes Verizon Wireless can give Apple an LTE network to play with. The iPhone with better coverage and 4G could be interesting. Verizon executives talked up their LTE buildout. 

But this Apple-Verizon story probably comes down to negotiation. AT&T put its cards on the table. It really wants to extend its deal with Apple. Apple obviously wants to explore other options. The game: Squeeze AT&T into a better deal. Verizon is more than happy to play along.

Topics: Verizon, Apple, Banking, Government, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, AT&T

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  • Begging...

    basically Apple knows where it stands here with AT&T - the only reason half, if not more, subscribers are at AT&T is because of the iPhone. (I'm talking about iPhone users btw, not all subscribers).

    For Apple to walk would not only anger those customers (Apple does not care), but it'll loose alot of business for AT&T...

    Granted Verizon is by far the best when it comes to 3G coverage, evening having such things as the "COW" - a mobile cell tower to roll into high population events when the need arises for more data coverage.

    their data plans (on phones) aren't too bad - then again they do have a nice contract with Blackberry - basically I pay 30 bucks a month for unlimited internet access on my storm. It would be nice to see apple extend the same to it's consumers, but with Apple getting 10 bucks per month per subscriber on AT&T (plus AT&T having to make money...) it will more than likely be more pricey.
    • Apple only has a minor influence in the

      plan pricing of the cellular provider. If a plan cost's more, it has to do with the cost of the device, and in an indirect way modifing the price of the plan. But even so, I have compared plans with other providers and ATT for the iPhone are relativily in step with cost.

      Although I don't think we will see a Verizon iPhone for a year or two yet while ATT still has exclusivity.
      • hmmm...AT&T exclusivity is about 3G. Maybe Apple will go 4G with Verizon?

        Just sayin'.
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
      • That's what was said about the music industry was it not ?

        I can clearly see the iPhone making more inroads everywhere. Oh, I
        forgot to mention the iPod Touch.

        This should have Ballmer spinning in his chair.

        Snicker, smirk,,,

        • 'Snicker, smirk,,,' - Please don't write like NonZealot.

          It's enough we have to put up with his ten year old antics. Please don't follow suit with his 'smirk' insults.

          No More Microsoft Software Ever!
    • I pay the same $30.00 for unlimited internet access on my iPhone.

      And many, many 'How dare you use anything other than Microsoft Windows products (i.e. WinMobile/WinCE)' folks have declared that we iPhone users are paying too much.

      Funny that, huh? EVERY Smartphone provider charges $30.00 per month for unlimited data. Hmmm...reads like MS fanbois complain too much about Apple!
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
      • Uh...

        TMO only charges me $25 for unlimited data on the G1.
        • Just wait 6 months. TMobile charged me 20 for unlimited on BB.

          Then 6 months later upped it to 30$. And your contract does not protect data charges. Only voice charges. Sucks...doesn't it!
          No More Microsoft Software Ever!
          • I find it hard to believe you used a BB

            or any other nonsense you type out.

    Good God, no.

    Verizon's network is the NOTwork and it would be
    horrible on Verizon's Cr@pfest CDMA network.
    • Networks are relative to where you live?

      Honestly, I have tried most carriers at my house. With Verizon I have
      pretty decent coverage on EVDO, and I can download about 1M for
      speed. Sprint I'm lucky to get 1 bar standing in the middle of my yard.
      On AT&T, I couldn't get 3G access, only get dial-up speeds for
      downloads. Your myopic view of the carrier is probably just a reverse
      situation of what I have to deal with, but that's life. Just because Apple
      signs another contract with another carrier doesn't necessarily mean that
      existing iPhone customers are going to loose their phone contract with
      AT&T anyways, so I don't see it as a big deal.
      • confused...

        Why would your coverage differ with Sprint vs. Verizon using the same phone? Answer: It doesn't! They have a free roaming agreement..this includes data. It is why Sprint is such a bargin, as the data plan is much cheaper and you get to not only use their EVDO rev A network, but roam on Verizon's EVDO when it isn't available. Heck, I was in the backwoods this weekend, 1 bar of cell service and could STILL use Verizon's 1xRTT to connect to the internet.

        Apple is smelling the a scent in the air... Verizon and/or Sprint = the only way to keep expanding. AT&T's coverage outside major metro areas is just non-exisitant. This has been a problem for Apple from moment one.

        This plus the fact that GSM 3G eats the battery life...and when they switch it over to CDMA/EVDO the battery life will be 15% better automatically.

        This is a no-brainer move for them...they have to end the exclusive, or they will start to stagnate.
        • You must be

          [b]"Apple is smelling the a scent in the air...
          Verizon and/or Sprint = the only way to keep
          expanding. AT&T's coverage outside major metro
          areas is just non-exisitant. This has been a
          problem for Apple from moment one."[/b]

          Funny, I often travel well outside metro areas
          and have excellent coverage with AT&T.
    • The NOT WORK?? Are you kidding me?

      Yes!!! Moving the iPhone to Verizon would make
      the iPhone the ultimate mobile phone. Currently
      it is the ultimate personal assistant and only
      sub par phone due to AT&T's GSM network. I have
      wished many times to go back to my Razor and
      Verizon so that I could use my wireless "phone"
      service for the purpose it was created for in the
      first place.
  • This does not mean that Apple and AT&T will stop

    doing business right? Rather it means that Apple is
    expanding out....

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Right

      AT&T and Apple will continue to do business. Apple would just double its distribution with Verizon. It's the same way every other device maker on the planet operates.
      Larry Dignan
    • Yes. AT&T will remain exclusive (per contract) with AT&T.

      My thought process tells me the contract is very specific...3G. Verizon is working on 4G (per the article) and I think Apple can take advantage of this by making the iPhone work on the Verizon 4G network and not get into contention with the AT&T 3G network contract.
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • Still won't own an iPhone until...

    1) Voice dialing that I don't have to PAY FOR.

    2) User replaceable battery.

    3) Tethering.

    ALL of the above can be done with virtually every phone on the planet, except for the iPhone. This is inexcusable...but just emphasizes what a control freak Steve Jobs is.

    • Jobs a control freak?

      If you think Steve Jobs is a 'control freak' you've never had a Verizon
      account. The 'deal breaker' when Apple was talking to Verizon about
      releasing iPhone v. 1 was that Verizon wanted complete control of apps
      and they have on most of their other devices. It's not pretty.
      While Apple may control the app store content to some degree there are
      over 35,000 apps to chose from, not exactly the Nazis at the big V.
      • Jobs is a control freak and the Telcos are just greedy

        The phone companies would charge you for every breath of air you exhaled into your phone if they could. They rely on hidden costs to price gouge customers since the monthly fee illusion is not enough to satiate their money lust.