Verizon: We're happy we're not first to market with the iPhone

Verizon: We're happy we're not first to market with the iPhone

Summary: Is Apple's iPhone deal with Cingular a handicap to both parties? You almost get that impression hearing to Verizon executives tell it.

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TOPICS: Verizon
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Is Apple's iPhone deal with Cingular a handicap to both parties? You almost get that impression hearing to Verizon executives tell it.

On a conference call following Verizon's fourth quarter earnings, analysts were quick to ask Dennis F. Strigl, Verizon chief operating officer, about the iPhone. After all, a USA Today report detailed how Verizon turned Apple down due to Steve Jobs' terms.

The biggest item in the USA Today report was that the Apple and Cingular deal is exclusive for five years. For what it's worth--that's a long time for the iPhone to be tethered to a network that can be spotty at times. In Cingular's case,  Apple  most likely gets most of the ROI.  Cingular is clearly hoping to grab subscribers.

Here's what Strigl had to say:

"If you all have seen the USA Today article that Leslie Cauley wrote, our take is that she was right on. The iPhone market, the iPhone product is something where, quite frankly, we’re happy that we’re not first to market with the iPhone. We think that innovation and a focus on music will benefit the whole industry. It really does draw attention to our data capabilities. You heard from Doreen that that’s a very strong market for us, but bottom line on the iPhone, I think we’re -- many are interested in comparing a future offering with what we have in the marketplace today: it’s like comparing apples and oranges. I will tell you that we will stay competitive and more on that as the year rolls out. Looking at the product line that we have, particularly the handset lineup, we’re very confident with our strategic partners and we’ve had a lot of good product from all three of our major suppliers, and there too, more on that as the year rolls out."

Reading between the lines there are some key takeaways to be had from those comments:

  • iPhone was addressed only in one question so in the grand scheme of Verizon's business it's not all that important.
  • Why isn't it important? Verizon mentioned business users repeatedly. It's unclear whether the iPhone can be a business tool.
  • Verizon's big bang is really its FiOS network.

Apple gave rivals a big heads up by preannouncing the iPhone. Don't be surprised if Verizon's key partners come out with iPhone killers shortly.

Topic: Verizon

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5 comments
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  • Heads up to whom?

    You kidding yourself if you think Apple is giving much of a heads up to its
    competitors. They're too clever for that. Watch how they'll change the game on
    them before they even know what hit them.
    YinToYourYang-22527499
  • Forget devices, focus on network

    In all the excitement about the various devices, we forget the networks crawl. They are all beating each other up in the media but see this Consumer Reports analysis I referenced below...

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2007/01/consuner_report.html

    I was recently marveling at satellites talking to my Bluetooth GPS chip from thousands of miles away, and how that and my Bluetooth ear piece co-existed and communicated with my Cingular 8125. While this was going on, I was talking to Cingular customer service and they dropped me 5 times!
    vmirchan
  • Verizon is too greedy and like to lock down phones features too much...

    ...so they can swing it so they can make more money... Apple's bread and butter is their user experience and couldn't give that up... it could have never worked between Apple and Verizon. Verizon F'd up.. it's not a business phone, it's a phone to sell traditional smart phone features and services to the larger more lucrative consumer market... this is Verizon trying to save face... Cingular will and Verizon would have made lots of money from the iPhone... they f'd up...
    doctorSpoc
  • Sounds like "sour grapes"

    Do you think Verizon believes their own rhetoric? All I know is that unless the iPhone
    is completely buggy, I will be switching to Cingular/AT&T... along with my wife and
    all our friends currently on Verizon's "in" network. If we are at all representative of
    the general population, Verizon should be very worried.
    8wintermute8
  • RE: Verizon: We're happy we're not first to market with the iPhone

    REGARDLESS OF WHAT VICE PRESIDENT OR PRESIDENT OF VERIZON SAYS, IPHONE HAS WORKED FOR ME IN ANY WAY AND EVERY WAY, AS FOR BUISNESS, I WORK IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY, I DONT KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITH OUT MY IPHONE, IT HAS WORKED FOR ME IN ALL WAYS, ITS DEFINITLY A PHONE THAT NO OTHER PHONE WILL EVER TOP, PEOPLE FORGET ITS OS RUNNING IPHONE, NO OTHER PHONE WILL EVER HAVE SUCH A GREAT OPERATING SYSYTEM, WINDOWS, OH MY GOD, WINDOWS IN EVERYWAY SHAPE AND FORM SUCKS !!! IMAGINE IT ON YOUR PHONE, SO REGARDLESS, BACK TO MY POINT, MAC PRODUCTS ROCK, AND THE IPHONE IS THE BEST PHONE I'VE EVER HAD. ALL THE POEPLE THAT TALK CRAP TELLS ME THEY ARE JEALOUS !!!
    DJALBERTO@...