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Verizon Still Anxious for Apple iPhone Contract

Verizon Still Anxious for Apple iPhone Contract
April 7, 2010 10:03AM

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Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg has indicated that Verizon doesn't have a contract for Apple's iPhone. Verizon expects to get the iPhone, Seidenberg said, but it probably won't be an LTE 4G version. An analyst said Verizon is "begging" for the iPhone but has no bargaining power. Still, an iPhone on Verizon's network could make a lot of money.

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Verizon Wireless will eventually carry Apple's iPhone. That's the word from CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who told news media Tuesday that it's up to Apple.

"Eventually it's our view we'll get to carrying Apple," he said, according to Reuters. He added that he would prefer to have an iPhone that supports Verizon's next-generation LTE (for Long-Term Evolution) 4G network technology. Currently, trials are under way in Boston, Seattle and elsewhere, and the company has said the rollout will cover 25 to 30 markets by the end of this year.

'Very Strange'

LTE offers peak rates of 40 to 50 Mbps, with averages of five to 12 Mbps down and two to five Mbps up. The competing 4G technology is Sprint Nextel's WiMAX. Sprint has already unveiled a 4G smartphone.

There have been reports recently that Apple was working on new iPhones -- including an updated GSM one for AT&T Wireless, with whom it currently has an exclusive contract for U.S. distribution, and a CDMA model for Verizon that would not work on LTE. Some observers have suggested that Apple didn't see Verizon rolling out its LTE technology fast enough to warrant that kind of device in the near future.

Whether 4G or not, an iPhone on the Verizon network would certainly shake up the position of current handset makers on that carrier, including Samsung, LG, Motorola and RIM. Some analysts suggest that adding the iPhone to Verizon's lineup could double Apple's market share.

The Verizon CEO's comments are raising eyebrows. Ken Dulaney, vice president for mobile computing at industry research firm Gartner, called Seidenberg's comments "very strange." He added that they indicate Verizon "doesn't yet have a contract for iPhone, and that they're begging to have it."

'No Bargaining Power'

Dulaney said Gartner had predicted a 4G LTE iPhone would be available from Verizon by the summer, but the CEO's statement indicates that negotiations with Apple still have a ways to go.

But the upside is tempting for both parties. "If I'm Apple, and I'm interested in making money," he said, "no place can make as much money for the iPhone as Verizon." But, he said, Verizon has "no bargaining power here" and will have to "take whatever Apple wants to give them."

An LTE iPhone could be problematic, he said, because of the substantial power requirements. Dulaney predicted that, if there is an LTE iPhone, it "will probably be just for data," not voice, because of that factor.

He noted that AT&T's recent announcement of five phones based on Google's open-source Android platform "had appeared to be a defensive action," to ward off an eventual move of the iPhone to Verizon.

Verizon's own defensive move should involve Android as well, Dulaney said. "Verizon needs to be working with Google to improve its offering," he said, adding that Google needs to advertise its app store to counter Apple's.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-13 @ 6:04am PT
I think that the iphone sould come to sprint and tmobile instead of verizon, customer will benefit a lot more from sprint and tmobile prices, verizon just going to continue to suck your blood dry with their prices like at&t does.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-10 @ 11:12am PT
Verizon wants to do their own in house tech support and Apple wants everything to be done at their stores. This totally takes Verizon out of the customer satisfaction equation. You see Verizon believes in good customer satisfaction and they believe that their customers should be able to walk in to any Verizon store and have their phone worked on. So maybe it's not just the LTE that affects the equation.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-10 @ 7:17am PT
Would love for Verizon to take on the iPhone. Where I moved we have problems with At&T signal. Verizon is their main cell company up here. Would definitely switch to Verizon if they get the phone. Also hate that AT&T charges so much for text messaging. $30.00 a month for unlimited text messaging for 1 phone is ridiculous.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-09 @ 8:37am PT
It's funny how Apple originally offered the iPhone to Verizon and they declined. Now they're begging for it.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 2:20pm PT
Hey Apple: How about an iPhone for Sprint? They have their 4G network running in 27 cities already, and like 10 more launching this year. Bandwidth is outrageous on 4G, and Sprint's plans are cheaper, too.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 12:42pm PT
Honestly, my DROID does just as much as the iPhone does aside from talking and surfing the web at the same time and a few apps I would want. Otherwise, it is wonderful and the screen is much more beautiful. I compared the screens side by side at a friend's house and loaded the same web page. Things look much nicer on the DROID. I still like the iPhone, but I no longer am frustrated I can't get it. At this point Apple should lay in its bed if it won't switch over. It's wonderful being free on Android ... using PDAnet without a problem, etc.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 11:21am PT
I WANT THE IPHONE CAUSE IT'S REALLY COOL!!!! BRING IT 2 VERIZON RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 9:50am PT
If the iPhone becomes available, it needs to have voice and data capability.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 7:08am PT
I have been on both Verizon and AT&T for years. Need AT&T for free phone at work, but it sucks with the iPhone. Verizon is a no-brainer great service company and I would NEVER go to AT&T for an iPhone with my own money and will keep my Verizon smartphone for my private use. My AT&T iPhone is thrown in the glove box as soon as I am off work ... As for not being able to get alerts, etc., while on Verizon service ... poppycock. Get those all the time! There are great smartphones out there that do everything I want. Will I get a iPhone if it comes to Verizon? Yeah, because it is not on a crippled network like AT&T.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 6:12am PT
I've been with Verizon since 2000 and I too have wanted the iphone since they started advertising it. However, I'm a single parent in the military and I just can't afford that missed call because ATT doesn't have the coverage that Verizon has. I have enough to worry about without wondering if I'm going to miss a call or email. Is there a "Peace of Mind" app?

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 2:38am PT
I'm with AT&T and have been since 2002. I have never had any major service issues with them. I have had each iPhone that has came out so far and have loved each one.

Long live the AT&T and Apple contract.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-08 @ 12:18am PT
Come iPhone... Come to Verizon!

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 7:54pm PT
I've been on Verizon since 1998. Have wanted an iphone since day one, but like the ads state -- "it's the network". There a places where I have full bars and some of my co-workers with ATT have no coverage. What good is an iphone if you do not have coverage?

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 7:01pm PT
Forget what Apple and Verizon want... Give the people what they want. If you build it - they will buy it.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 6:31pm PT
I left Verizon about 2 years ago for the iPhone 3G. Love it and not too many issues with AT&T coverage. Works great in Queens* and flawless in Jacksonville.

*For some reason AT&T has issues at La Guardia Airport, that's the only place I get data failures but phone calls no problem.

Cannot wait for iPhone 4; no interest at all in the iPad.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 5:33pm PT
I am on Verizon and I am waiting...

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 4:33pm PT
If Apple isn't able to put out a data only iPad for Verizon with CDMA, why would anyone think they'd bite at the iPhone first to test the waters? If the iPad 3G gets a Verizon interface, the iPhone CDMA would be right behind it. It would be an easy accessory interface for 3G to the iPad, rather than a complete redo for a voice/data iPhone appliance on a network with much heavier cost to build/test/support a second version for Verizon, that what fits the rest of the world. GSM voice is worldwide a bigger addressable population. Apple likes its "one SKU per planet" buildout and support model.
Until the iPad lands on Verizon, the rest is pure speculation.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 4:25pm PT
Will not swtich for IPhone.. But def will buy one from verizon!!

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 3:24pm PT
i need the iphone badly i swear i will kill myself if i dont get one

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 2:55pm PT
I would definitely consider an IPhone if it came to Verizon. I tried AT&T--twice! Not even the IPhone could make me go back.
Verizon's network is just so much more reliable. I would love to see Apple and Verizon marry.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 1:24pm PT
It's not about getting anyone to switch -- it's about adding huge market share for Apple. I am on Verizon and would buy an iPhone if it were available. I will not switch to AT&T only for the iPhone.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 1:03pm PT
If it went to Verizon, it wouldn't let you talk and browse, which isn't a big deal for browsing. But also you would get no alerts while on a phone call, no e-mail or data while on speakerphone, etc. Kinda goes against what the iPhone advertises. Plus Verizon made all these stabs at the iPhone and launched all these supposed "iPhone killers" which all went to buy one, get one free. They're just desperate and I hope they never get it. Steve Jobs doesn't usually take to being mocked too well. Plus I'm sure AT&T gives them more money per phone being exclusive and Apple has more bargaining power.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 12:19pm PT
I'm not sure what part of the country you are from, but AT&T coverage on the West Coast for iPhone sucks. Verizon is by far the best provider and consumers are demanding an iPhone.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 12:18pm PT
I would think both companies would make a fortune on this alliance ... I hope they can work it out soon. I'm with Verizon, and in 10 years have never had a complaint with service, but want an iPhone badly enough to consider switching ... I've been hanging on, hoping for an announcement this year.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 11:25am PT
iPhone on AT&T network is awesome. Get one for Verizon. No one will switch.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2010-04-07 @ 11:04am PT
Please, please let Verizon have the iPhone because I am on Verizon and I really want an iPhone and can't get one. ... So please let Verizon take the iPhone!



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