USAToday's Leslie Cauley reports that as long as two years ago, Apple and Steve Jobs held initial discussions with Verizon about the carrier becoming exclusive distributor for the then-envisioned iPhone.
If so, we would have seen Verizon's logo all over the ad at the top, not Cingular's.
Verizon reportedly balked, because they wanted a degree of distribution control over the device that Apple was not willing to cede. And Apple's stance left Verizon very concerned about how such control would effect the carrier's stance with multi-device retail distribution partners such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
The result of the failure to agree is that Cingular/AT&T, Verizon's largest rival, will be the iPhone's exclusive distributor when the much-anticipated device is released in June.
The was this is playing out doesn't surprise me. The mobile carriers are used to controlling distribution and tech support for manufacturers. It is a part of mobile carrier culture.
But Apple's corporate culture is reluctant to give up any degree of control to carriers,distributors, developers, etc. Jobs is a control freak (well, duh).
Apple sounds like the ultimate "high maintenance" technology partner- demanding, secretive, touchy, always wanting the option of control.
And it is not only technology partners where we see these traits.