Maybe the iPhone 4G, says Verizon’s Seidenberg

April 17, 2009

Although there’s been a groundswell of support for the idea that Apple should end AT&T’s monopoly on US distribution, apparently no work is being done behind the scenes to make it a reality any time soon. Or, at least that’s one way to read some off-hand remarks by one of the industry’s top CEOs.

Recently, reports from knowledgeable bloggers and in the mainstream media have established the AT&T is seeking to extend its exclusive hold on iPhone distribution in the US. A fair percentage of those of the same group of writers and pundits, including Blorge (see box below), have come out against the idea, saying it’s high time to bring competition to this market space.

For better or worse, comments by Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg being carried by Total Telecom would seem to indicate that, at the very least, Apple hasn’t been talking to the US’ biggest wireless carrier about near term cooperation:

Seidenberg also addressed the notion of Apple’s iPhone ever coming to the Verizon Wireless network, saying it is more likely that Apple would be willing to work with the carrier under the fourth-generation, or 4G, network, which follows the same technology standard as AT&T’s 4G plans. He said Apple never seriously considered making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it didn’t have as wide a distribution opportunity.

See also:
AT&T To Apple: Come On, What’s Two More Years? (CNN)
Extending AT&T’s Exclusivity Is Bad For Consumers, Apple? (Washington Post)
Why Apple Should Not Extend AT&T’s Exclusive iPhone Service Deal (Cult of Mac)

Verizon’s 4G network will begin roll out next year.

Of course, the technically most likely carrier for Apple to add is T-Mobile, whose network is iPhone compatible with little or no modification needed.

With Verizon temporarily out of the picture, is there any real possibility of carrier choice coming to the US this year? I’m guessing the chances are quite slim, but haven’t entirely given up hope…

What’s your take?

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8 Responses to “Maybe the iPhone 4G, says Verizon’s Seidenberg”

  1. Aaron:

    Yes! End AT&T’s exclusive distribution. I have a 3G iPhone and I’ll want another new one. I’d like to see lower rates offered, which can only happen through old fashioned competition. Plus I suspect Apple will actually increase it’s market share, which I have to think they realize.

  2. Shawn:

    The iPhone is one of the best cell phones made. This phone would not work the same with out ATT. Verizon’s fees and charges are crazy and way to high. If the iPhone was to come out with verizon then no one would buy it because of it’s high charges, and all there crazy hidden fees. This is just to big of a lose for apple. Verizon is know for there high prices, hidden fees, and low service around the world. ATT is the number one service previtor around the world and is also know for low costs and the highest quality. No wonder apple chose ATT since the begining.

  3. Brent Billock:

    Verizon was offered the iPhone before Apple went to AT&T. They would not agree to Apple’s insistence on control over the user experience.

    Verizon is accustomed to crippling the phones they carry, so their nickel-and-dime revenue stream will not be disrupted by the technological capabilities of the devices.

    My last phone with Verizon was a Motorola V710. The hardware was capable of transferring photos to my hard drive via bluetooth and playing music or ring tones stored on its mini-SD card.

    Verizon wouldn’t tolerate these features because it would mean they couldn’t charge me $2 to download a ring tone, or $1 to email my photos to myself.

    The fact that Verizon missed out selling all those iPhones is no one’s fault but their own. We can only hope that missed opportunity has taught them a lesson that will lead to an improved focus on putting the customer’s needs ahead of their own.

  4. Ronald O Carlson:

    You’re so right about Verizon’s parsimonious, nickel n’ diming ways, but they’ve got the network. With AT&T finally building out 3G in my neighborhood, I’m taking a serious look at making a move, especially if they and Apple offer some sort of iPhone nano and / or junior service deal.

  5. Vern Holmes:

    When in your opinion will the 4G be available for use with at&t.

  6. bruce:

    Verizon charges are way too pricy. Tons of hidden fees and such.

  7. Sae316:

    There are complaints about the iPhone on AT&T, many think that it would be better on Verizon, why? Could Verizon’s network handle an onslaught of data hungry iPhones? Verizon’s network may be the largest but is it really robust enough? From my understanding most Verizon customer use dumb phones or text phones.

    Also, it is doubtful that Apple will go with Verizon. With LTE, Verizon would have to upgrade the entire network before it could take an iPhone on. This will take years. Why, because if you leave an LTE area, you would fall back to CDMA network, no CDMA iPhone will be built and who would want an iPhone that is limited to urban areas?

  8. chevy:

    I dont like verizon. Verizon is too expensive and many hidden fees.

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