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10/26/2009
05:07 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Verizon CEO: iPhone For Us Is Up To Apple

Verizon executives must be sick of answering the iPhone question, but Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg gave it another shot recently. He said, "This is a decision that is exclusively in Apple's court." Um, what now?

Verizon executives must be sick of answering the iPhone question, but Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg gave it another shot recently. He said, "This is a decision that is exclusively in Apple's court." Um, what now?During its recently quarterly earnings call, Seidenberg was asked if Verizon would ever sell the iPhone. This was his response:

This is a decision that is exclusively in Apple's court. We obviously would be interested at any point in the future they thought it would make sense for them to have us as a partner. And so we will leave it with them on that score. What they have done has been successful, so we have to sit back and give them credit for that. Our view is to broaden the base of choice for customers, and hopefully along the way, Apple, as well as others, will decide to jump on the bandwagon.
Why is Verizon placing the ball in Apple's court? Well, you may remember the recent ad campaign by Verizon that slams all the things the iPhone doesn't do. Verizon even goes so far as to poke fun of the iPhone commercials themselves in the way that its commercials are presented. The Droid Does campaign shows you what sort of commitment Verizon is making to Android and Motorola -- and that it's willing to take its gloves off and play a little dirty.

Verizon would need Apple to forgive and forget the entire smear campaign first. Then, it would need for there to suddenly being a compelling business case for Apple to develop a CDMA variant of the iPhone. At this point, I don't see any impetus for Apple to do that.

The earliest an iPhone or iPhone-type device from Apple is sold by Verizon Wireless will be after Verizon's LTE 4th generation wireless network has a sizable footprint. That won't be until 2011 or 2012. Even then, I find it doubtful that the two companies will find a way to work amicably together.

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