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Verizon CEO: Carrier 'Never in the Running' for Original iPhone

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Earlier this week, we shared some highlights from a Bloomberg interview with Verizon President Lowell McAdam that offered a glimpse of some of the behind-the-scenes dealings that led to the carrier announcing that it will begin offering the iPhone next month.

In a similar interview with outgoing Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals a few more details of interest about the history of Verizon's relationship with Apple. Most notably, Seidenberg reveals that Apple was solely focused on GSM technology for the original iPhone and had absolutely no interest in also producing a CDMA version for the initial launch, meaning that Verizon was "never in the running" to partner with Apple back in 2007 when AT&T won exclusive rights for the iPhone in the United States.
It all started with Apple (AAPL), and Apple decided that it wanted one carrier in every major market. So Apple and AT&T consummated a deal three years ago. And because Apple was more focused on a single technology - the GSM technology - they chose AT&T. We had good discussions with them, but it was clear to us that they weren't looking to make a device for both sets of technologies.
The comments seem to dispute a report from around the time of the original iPhone's introduction claiming that Apple and Verizon had been in talks but that Verizon had rejected Apple's demand that it receive a share of monthly service fees, a demand that AT&T accepted for a time before the two companies reworked their relationship to eliminate monthly fee revenue sharing and move to the more traditional subsidized hardware business model.

Seidenberg also notes in the new interview that both he and McAdam had periodically called up and visited with Steve Jobs and Apple COO Tim Cook to talk about a possible iPhone on Verizon, suggesting that Verizon had long been extremely interested in the iPhone. The comments support a statement made by Seidenberg in October 2009 noting that the decision regarding a Verizon iPhone was "exclusively in Apple's court" and April 2010 remarks sharing that Verizon had explicitly asked Apple for the right to carry the iPhone.

In the new interview, Seidenberg also touts Verizon's wide array of businesses, from Internet backbone to FiOS residential service to 4G wireless networks, that will allow the company to serve video and other content to customers wherever they are. Citing an estimate that 90% of Internet traffic within five years will be video-related, Seidenberg suggests that Verizon is well-positioned for the coming wave and in an excellent position to continue working with Apple.

Article Link: Verizon CEO: Carrier 'Never in the Running' for Original iPhone
 

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2010
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Canada
That actually makes a lot more sense to me than the previous story. Going GSM for your first product is pretty much an obvious move. It is more universal and licensing costs are lower.
 

MarlboroLite

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
579
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the 13 colonies
Well who cares? The iPhone is now on Verizon and will always be from now on...eventually every carrier in the US will have it like most other countries and as LTE converges around the world we will have a single iPhone one day that can be transferred to any carrier you want.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
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CA
That actually makes a lot more sense to me than the previous story. Going GSM for your first product is pretty much an obvious move. It is more universal and licensing costs are lower.

Yup, and it allows for a truly global product. Exposing themselves to all those markets means that if the US market was a dud, they could potentially recoup from strong sales abroad initially. That would not have been possible with CDMA.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,054
161
Canada, eh?
That actually makes a lot more sense to me than the previous story. Going GSM for your first product is pretty much an obvious move. It is more universal and licensing costs are lower.

Yes. You have to remember that even 3, 4, 5 years ago, GSM was pretty much the worldwide standard, and the only major area that actually DIDN'T have near-universal GSM coverage was North America.

Apple, of course, is aiming for (eventual) worldwide coverage, so of course it picks the major standard.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,414
78
Well who cares? The iPhone is now on Verizon and will always be from now on...eventually every carrier in the US will have it like most other countries and as LTE converges around the world we will have a single iPhone one day that can be transferred to any carrier you want.

Well stated, I agree that this CDMA version is a stop gap and that eventually Apple will have a single device for all carriers. Although T-Mobile's 3G will need to be supported.
 

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
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Hey MacRumors,

Any chance for no more Verizon posts please?

Move on, everything has been said!

Who cares why they didn't get it.

Verizon has the iphone now. DONE!!!!
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
Well stated, I agree that this CDMA version is a stop gap and that eventually Apple will have a single device for all carriers. Although T-Mobile's 3G will need to be supported.

I expect a CDMA/GSM combo unit with LTE possibly in 2012, but I don't think we'll ever see T-mobile's 3G frequencies supported or WiMax for that matter. Just not enough customers to warrant the design.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,787
1,626
And if you believe that, have bridge for sale in Brooklyn and some cheap ocean front property in Arizona
 

benthere16

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2010
8
3
not true

I personally know a Verizon exec who sat in on the original meeting with Steve Jobs. The earlier report is true. They essentially laughed Apple out of the room when Apple asked for a large share of revenue.
 

MarlboroLite

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
579
5
the 13 colonies
I personally know a Verizon exec who sat in on the original meeting with Steve Jobs. The earlier report is true. They essentially laughed Apple out of the room when Apple asked for a large share of revenue.

Ok both stories are not necessary incompatible with each other. Even if VZ had not laughed Apple out of the room, it's still extremely probable that Apple would not have made the first iPhone a VZ exclusive if they had any plans to sell the phone outside the US which they obviously did. It made little sense to make the first iPhone for a single carrier in one country and nothing for no one else all around the world. Apple was always going to make a GSM iPhone before a CDMA one.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
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I personally know a Verizon exec who sat in on the original meeting with Steve Jobs. The earlier report is true. They essentially laughed Apple out of the room when Apple asked for a large share of revenue.

Just a pinch.
 

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SiPat

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2009
195
0
Verizon indirectly attacked the iPhone for months/years: were the adverts and playing Android-vs-iPhone thing done in collusion with Apple just to keep the Verizon-iPhone a secret? Hogwash!

Now they say they've been real cosy with Apple for around two years. If they had announced that they were working with Apple to produce a CDMA iPhone, I doubt Android would have seen much success in the smartphone market, even with BOGO -- might have strangled Android at birth.

The PR machinery is in full swing to heal old wounds -- that's what this is all about. I bet there will be no comment from Apple on this.
 

goobot

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Jun 26, 2009
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

Only shows that all those people have no idea what they are talking about.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
I personally know a Verizon exec who sat in on the original meeting with Steve Jobs. The earlier report is true. They essentially laughed Apple out of the room when Apple asked for a large share of revenue.

I've sat in on many a device negotiation, including a few for Verizon usage as a consultant, and people don't laugh at such meetings no matter how ridiculous they think a demand is.

They might laugh afterwards, and they might even tell outsiders like you that they laughed at the demand, but it would never happen in front of the person.

Anyone who did would never be allowed in a negotiation room again. You never reveal your thoughts right away. They're more like poker games.

--

As far as Verizon saying they didn't believe Apple was serious about a CDMA model, that was already brought up a year or two ago. It's nothing new. They probably suspected Apple just wanted to get more leverage with AT&T.
 
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