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Verizon marketing exec rumored to be working on iPhone campaign

post #1 of 30
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A Verizon Wireless marketing executive has reportedly been assigned to work full time on a three month, top secret project rumored to be a marketing campaign for a forthcoming iPhone launch.

The new rumor coincides with a report published by CrunchGear earlier today, which claimed Verizon's branding partner, Landor Associates, was busy working on an advertising campaign related to a summer product launch of a Verizon iPhone.

The source of the latest rumor, communicating confidentially with AppleInsider, specifically cited Verizon's "senior vice president of West Coast marketing" as being involved in the secret effort, although Verizon does not have a senior vice president of marketing devoted to the West Coast region. The company's regional marketing is assigned on a director level. Additionally, the executive is described as being a man, while Verizon's current director of West Coast marketing appears to be Kim Cochran, according to public records.

Rumors that won't die

Rumors related to a Verizon iPhone have persisted since before the iPhone was even announced, dating back at least to comments made by Jim Cramer of The Street, who described how a hedge fund manager could seed media sources with false reports to foment the market and then take advantage of wildly fluctuating stock prices that resulted.

"It is very important to spread the rumor that both Verizon and AT&T have decided they dont like the phone," Cramer said in 2006, just before Apple officially announced the iPhone. "Its a very easy one to do. You also want to spread the rumor that its not going to be ready for Macworld [Expo]. And this is very easy, because the people who write about Apple want that story. And you can claim that it is credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, because Apple isnt in [a position to comment on unannounced products]. It is an ideal short."

Subsequent reports that Apple's iPhone either was or was not heading to Verizon have resulted in similar dramatic price swings in Apple's stock, distorting the real results of the work that went into actually delivering the phone in the US and globally.

Availability of the iPhone on Verizon's network would likely have a relatively minor affect on Apple's overall sales; the company sold 8.8 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2010, but AT&T only activated 2.7 million phones in the US within that same period. The vast majority of Apple's iPhones are being sold outside the US, which is also where the greatest potential for future growth in the smartphone market is.

While many American users are unhappy with AT&T's level of service in specific markets, particularly in overloaded regions such as San Francisco and New York City, the arrival of a Verizon-compatible iPhone would likely result primarily in a shift of users from AT&T to Verizon, rather than sparking a large number of new iPhone sales. Verizon has a smaller concentration of smartphone users than AT&T does.

Few clues from Apple

Apple has remained silent on the potential for a CDMA-only, 4G LTE, or hybrid version of the iPhone which could be sold on both AT&T and CDMA providers such as Verizon or Sprint, with company executives only ever praising AT&T as a valued partner in the US. In other global markets, Apple has readily opened up its exclusive service contracts to make the iPhone available from multiple, competitive mobile providers, but those markets are not split by the UMTS/CDMA technical divide that suppresses mobile phone competition in the US.

Verizon and Sprint deployed a large number of BlackBerry and Android-based CDMA smartphones in the US, often using aggressive "buy one get one free" programs which helped Android as a platform to surpass Apple's first calendar quarter of iPhone sales in the US, according to data from NPD. However, Apple continued to outsell all Android vendors globally and remains a stronger, less fractionalized installed base for app developers in the US. Apple has also maintained stronger average selling prices than its competitors, including smartphone leader Nokia.

If Apple chose to deliver a version of the iPhone capable of working on Verizon's network, it is possible it could eat up a significant chunk of the sales of competing smartphone platforms, which currently are isolated from direct competition with the iPhone due to the network technology barrier that currently prevents the iPhone from working on Verizon and Sprint. However, Apple would likely also lose significant leverage in driving concessions from AT&T, such as the low iPad 3G pricing deals for unlimited data that the company has not been able to establish in many other markets outside the US, as well as hardware pricing leverage.
post #2 of 30
Lets remember folks...

Apple doesn't let ANYONE do ANY advertising for the iPhone.

Don't believe me?

1 - Find an AT&T comercial that SPOTLIGHTS the iPhone...
2 - How about an AT&T commercial that SPEAKS the word iPhone, even just in passing.
3 - Find iPhone in the fine print of AT&T ADs.. I haven't the eyes to read that stuff quick enough but you might get lucky... maybe

Good luck looking..... but I haven't found any. Do you think Apple would behave any different with Verizon?

Apple is far too 'protective' about its product to let just 'anyone' design an AD around it.
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post #3 of 30
So yes, basically confirming what we knew all along... the media is duping investors that have no knowledge of how the media actually reports to make money off them Of course, it's Apple... so anything is possible. Anything so much as a rumor starts the fluctuation. Must be great to be a hedge fund manager. Easiest job in the world... earn a million bucks to seed some faulty rumors and then dupe people into believing it's true. Sound like someone familiar?





*cough* bank executives.
post #4 of 30
I don't see why we wouldn't believe this - I mean it's not like Verizon has any incentive to convince the world that they should hold out and not jump ship for ATT around this time of year. I mean if they assigned *A* marketing exec to a TOP SECRET project and it got leaked... well I guess that marketing exec is in big trouble. Unless of course, the whole point of it was to be leaked, whether or not there was an actual phone.
post #5 of 30
As much as I want it to happen, I don't believe it's true. But I like the fact that this issue won't go away. The more people buzz about a vIphone the greater the chance someone at Apple will realize there is an opportunity to make money here.

Besides, it's also an opportunity to do the right thing. Exclusive providers are bad for consumers. Competition is best and everyone should be able to choose the company that has the best coverage where they live and work.
post #6 of 30
That this is a blatant attempt by Verizon to quash the mass hysteria of iPhone 4.0 due next month. Verizon is doing all it can to stop the endless number of customers jumping to AT&T to get an iPhone.
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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post #7 of 30
post #8 of 30
I think it's true....the only thing that has changed in the last 6 mo's is Android making some serious inroads! Granted multiple phone models, multiple carriers and 'buy-one-get-two' giveaway promotions! Going for market share over margins!

Stevo is 'bent' because of Schmidt/Google getting into the phone business! He now wants to go toe-to-toe with Google with his iPhone and trounce the competition. Seriously this is the reason Apple has changed their tune with Verizon!

Stevo will do whatever it takes, pay a penalty to ATT for early release from their contract, make a CDMA iPhone, etc., etc. The game is afoot, alas, amiss! Something like that!

Ps. I thought we were supposed to get an MBA new model announcement today! What happened?

Pss. Will Stevo never learn? First giving Bill/MS an Apple computer to steal the OS from and now Schmidt/Google doing the same 'dirty' to him with the phone business. I guess, history does repeat itself and those that don't read history are destined to repeat it, too!
post #9 of 30
Um, Kim can be a man's name also.
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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthracite View Post

Um, Kim can be a man's name also.

We'll make a detective of you yet, Watson!
post #11 of 30
The iPhone is almost certainly coming to Verizon and or Sprint this year whether or not Verizon does the marketing...

Amidst the "lost/stolen" iPhone brouhaha, John Gruber on his blog Daring Fireball, had a blog post noting that, according to his sources (presumably within Apple) the bar codes on the misplaced iPhone of note designated it as the new GSM iphone.

If there is only a GSM iphone, why differentiate it as such? Just call it the 4th generation iPhone. Obviously the reason for the differentiation is that some other mobile transmission technology iPhone exists: hence the need to label them differently. There is definitely a GSM version and also a CDMA version of the 4th generation iPhone being tested at Apple.

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/gi...ototype_iphone

Of course, it could be coming to Sprint as well to leverage the use of WiMax being rolled out this year. Consider the CDMA / EVDO / WiMax / LTE technology engineer job posting Apple put out a couple years ago.

Whatever the case, I'd say this year's 4th gen iPhone announcement will be huge.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Availability of the iPhone on Verizon's network would likely have a relatively minor affect on Apple's overall sales; the company sold 8.8 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2010, but AT&T only activated 2.7 million phones in the US within that same period. The vast majority of Apple's iPhones are being sold outside the US, which is also where the greatest potential for future growth in the smartphone market is.

This is debatable. I guess it depends what is meant by relatively minor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While many American users are unhappy with AT&T's level of service in specific markets, particularly in overloaded regions such as San Francisco and New York City, the arrival of a Verizon-compatible iPhone would likely result primarily in a shift of users from AT&T to Verizon, rather than sparking a large number of new iPhone sales.

Another strange assertion. There certainly are quite a few Verizon customers who post on these forums who claim they are waiting for the iPhone to be available, so they don't have to switch to AT&T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

If Apple chose to deliver a version of the iPhone capable of working on Verizon's network, it is possible it could eat up a significant chunk of the sales of competing smartphone platforms, which currently are isolated from direct competition with the iPhone due to the network technology barrier that currently prevents the iPhone from working on Verizon and Sprint.

Wait a minute. You just claimed that most of the Verizon iPhones would be bought by people switching from AT&T. Now you say iPhones will cannibalize other smartphones already on Verizon. Make up your mind.
post #13 of 30
The Hype builds. It was interesting to me that Verizon was nowhere to be seen at the release of the iPad, but that too could be coming. Apple has already gathered the low hanging fruit. My guess the the folks remaining on Verizon will not switch for the Iphone, but on the other side alot of ATT folks will gladly accept the next iPhone on ATT because of contracts and such, so if Apple hopes to continue to out grow the smartphone market in the US, they will add additional carriers. Contract negotiations are always give and take. Hopefully Verizon and Apple can find common ground.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

As much as I want it to happen, I don't believe it's true. But I like the fact that this issue won't go away. The more people buzz about a vIphone the greater the chance someone at Apple will realize there is an opportunity to make money here.

Besides, it's also an opportunity to do the right thing. Exclusive providers are bad for consumers. Competition is best and everyone should be able to choose the company that has the best coverage where they live and work.

Jerseymac, you're not getting the picture. Apple knows there is an opportunity to make money with Verizon, and so does Verizon. The problem is that Verizon wants a larger share of that money than AT&T does, and Apple's business model doesn't work with that expectation. Apple is not a company (HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Motorola, HTC, to mention a few that are still in business) that tries to survive on razor-thin profit margins and make up for it by selling in enormous volume). Apple wants healthy margins on fewer sales. But to get healthy margins on fewer sales and still be competitive selling cellphones, Apple must get good-sized subsidies from its carrier affiliates and other revenue streams from the use of those cellphones. Verizon isn't willing to do that, which is why it is bypassing Google Nexus One and Apple iPhone and only doing deals with the manufacturers who are looking for big-volume sales and are willing to let Verizon dictate terms to them (some less charitable folks say that the dumb pipe company is dictating terms to hardware innovators, but I'm more charitable than that).

This understanding explains two events very well. First, it tells us why Verizon turned Apple down in 2006-2007 when Verizon received the first offer to have an iPhone exclusivity agreement. Second, it explains why Apple is not concerned that the overall Android OS cellphone producing group is selling more phones than they are -- the other manufacturers have to do this to make any profit at all.

All capitalist enterprises respect competition as a value in itself only when it works to their benefit. There is at present no legal or constitutional right in the USA to choose a cellphone and carrier combination that has the best service where you live and work. If we can't get that right even for basic things like health care coverage, it seems unlikely that we will do it for cellular telephone service.
post #15 of 30
I have said this many times and I will say it again.

1) The chances of Apple's iPhone appearing on Verizon are ZERO. It makes no strategic sense for Apple.

2) iPhone's exclusivity with AT&T is beneficial for both Apple and AT&T. Apple can persuade AT&T to do things (such as the sweet iPad data plan) that it cannot if AT&T did not have the exclusive. I am willing to bet that Apple plans to introduce (in a couple of years) an iPod touch 3G with the same sweet iPad 3G data plan. You will be able to make VOIP phone calls on the iPod touch 3G. For 30 bucks a month, cancel any time, no contract. There will be a mad rush of people moving from Verizon and other carriers to AT&T. But, Apple has to give AT&T time to get their network ready for all the new traffic.

3) It's a myth that Verizon's network is better than that of AT&T. Verizon has done a great advertising job. But, according to a recent article in NYT, AT&T's network is actually better. It will take another year or two for the public to come around to this point of view.

4) Steve gave Verizon an opportunity to get the iPhone before his deal with AT&T. They turned it down. He is not going to forget that. At Walt Mossberg's All Things D conference after the iPhone introduction, Steve told Walt that he will always be grateful to AT&T because it was willing to do a deal with Apple without even seeing the final version of the iPhone.

I firmly believe that Apple and AT&T together will change the way carriers do business in the U.S. To do that successfully, the iPhone has to remain an AT&T exclusive. It is not surprising that the initial exclusive term was for 5 years and not less.
post #16 of 30
I've been saying this since I first found this site, and I'll keep saying it until everyone realizes I'm right:

Verizon will not get the iPhone until they fully roll out LTE. Maybe not even then, but at least it has the potential to make sense at that point.

A CDMA iPhone would be bad for Apple and Verizon. The user experience would be markedly less impressive, with slower data speeds, no in-call data, shorter battery life, more heat generation. People would actually see side-by-side the inferiority of CDMA and Apple would lose face just for going along with it.

Verizon will not get the iPhone until they fully roll out LTE.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

This is debatable. I guess it depends what is meant by relatively minor?

...

Another strange assertion. There certainly are quite a few Verizon customers who post on these forums who claim they are waiting for the iPhone to be available, so they don't have to switch to AT&T.

...

Wait a minute. You just claimed that most of the Verizon iPhones would be bought by people switching from AT&T. Now you say iPhones will cannibalize other smartphones already on Verizon. Make up your mind.

My sentiments exactly. Changewave just reported that 52% of Verizon subscribers who are interested in smartphones, want an iPhone. Anecdotally, on this board and all around me in the Boston area, I hear the same desire. Not sure what McLean is thinking.
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

As much as I want it to happen, I don't believe it's true. But I like the fact that this issue won't go away. The more people buzz about a vIphone the greater the chance someone at Apple will realize there is an opportunity to make money here.

Yeah maybe someday Apple will realize there's an opportunity. All these idiots on these boards know it, but all the MBAs spinning gold at Apple headquarters haven't figured it out yet.

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... the arrival of a Verizon-compatible iPhone would likely result primarily in a shift of users from AT&T to Verizon, rather than sparking a large number of new iPhone sales.

Huh? How do sales of phones on a new new carrier not equal new iPhone sales?

If you meant "new iPhone users" - then this is arguable: A 2nd hand phone to a "new user" is still a "new user."
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by commun5 View Post

Jerseymac, you're not getting the picture. Apple knows there is an opportunity to make money with Verizon, and so does Verizon. The problem is that Verizon wants a larger share of that money than AT&T does, and Apple's business model doesn't work with that expectation. Apple is not a company (HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Motorola, HTC, to mention a few that are still in business) that tries to survive on razor-thin profit margins and make up for it by selling in enormous volume). Apple wants healthy margins on fewer sales. But to get healthy margins on fewer sales and still be competitive selling cellphones, Apple must get good-sized subsidies from its carrier affiliates and other revenue streams from the use of those cellphones. Verizon isn't willing to do that, which is why it is bypassing Google Nexus One and Apple iPhone and only doing deals with the manufacturers who are looking for big-volume sales and are willing to let Verizon dictate terms to them (some less charitable folks say that the dumb pipe company is dictating terms to hardware innovators, but I'm more charitable than that).

The subsidy amount is not what stopped a deal between Apple and VZW in 2006, as there was no subsidy in the original 2007 iPhone pricing and AT&T contract.

It was control over the handset (iTunes Store, no carrier deck, no Verizon branding), activation, marketing, repairs/servicing, sales/distribution channel, and sharing of data fee.
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post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHKOsta View Post

Verizon will not get the iPhone until they fully roll out LTE. Maybe not even then, but at least it has the potential to make sense at that point.

What difference does LTE (or WiMax for that matter) make... CDMA technology is one thing, but no international carrier wants anything to do with LTE. HSPA+ gets them much more of the global market, and (as tmo has shown) it overlays quite well on top of existing GSM based technology.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Yeah maybe someday Apple will realize there's an opportunity. All these idiots on these boards know it, but all the MBAs spinning gold at Apple headquarters haven't figured it out yet.


Of course, Apple knows there is an opportunity. But do you know Apple's strategic plan? Do you know what opportunities Apple would have to give up to partner with VZW?

It always amazes me, that after watching Jobs/Cook/Schiller perform for the last ten years, that bloggers and commenters presume to know more about how to run the Apple business than the Apple A-team. That team has studied more smartphone sales and marketing data, more technology roadmap data, and more product cost data than anyone who has time to spend on this board.

Note: I actually think the VZW iPhone is coming this year - don't know when between June and October.
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post #23 of 30
More likely this is a Verizon exec working on an ad campaign for a Verizon-Google tablet.
post #24 of 30
They aired it for months before Christmas. It's the ANTI iPhone campaign. Too late to be leaking that, ain't it? So yeah... the misfit toy is coming... the misfit toy is coming!
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

The subsidy amount is not what stopped a deal between Apple and VZW in 2006, as there was no subsidy in the original 2007 iPhone pricing and AT&T contract.

It was control over the handset (iTunes Store, no carrier deck, no Verizon branding), activation, marketing, repairs/servicing, sales/distribution channel, and sharing of data fee.


Money is fungible. Everything you mention either could be settled with money offsets or involves one side or the other getting a larger share of the overall revenue stream. And if the subsidy wasn't a concern for iPhone v1, it would be now.
post #26 of 30
I will say it again, its a competitor's product.

Just like all the hype last year that the iphone was coming to VZ it was really the droid, the morons with the rumors gets bits and pieces of information and jump to the conclusion that it must be the iphone.

All this work going on at VZ and its ad company is for a competitor product which is their next big offering in the smart phone race.

Also, do you not think that competitors to Apple are not working on a Ipad type products too...

I also, say the Apple and VZ will not do business until VZ changes its business model right now the two companies are incompatible.
post #27 of 30
This is so hilarious!

If this was a big, "top secret" project, it sure as hell ain't anymore!
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post #28 of 30
iphone carriers in the US:
imo Apple need to allow other carriers to have iphone/ipad in the US. The fact is if a carrier is doing great (like verizon), they will push non apple products which hurts Apple iphone sales. They need to make the US iphone go on all carriers.

Apple running all iphone ads... not in canada
Aboud iphone ads, in Canada I see Bell and Rogers run iphone ads all the time. My iphone carrier is Telus, but its currently pushing Android phones a lot.

Network reliability: is AT&T realy that bad...
Since in Canada we have iphone on all 3G networks, I can tell you the problem is not with the carriers, its with the iphone. ALL the people I know with iphones have this problem: The cell connection drops with no warning and to top if off, sometimes the service dont come back and we get a "no service" message even if we are in FULL signal strenth area. The workaround is to put the phone airplane mode on/off to force a network scan. Sometimes I need to do this twice. This is happening on all canadian carriers, so the problem is the phone... Maybe Apple doesnt want the US to realize the cell part of the iphone is bug and have users blame AT&T instead. Well I hope the new 4G phone will solve this.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Lets remember folks...

Apple doesn't let ANYONE do ANY advertising for the iPhone.

Don't believe me?

1 - Find an AT&T comercial that SPOTLIGHTS the iPhone...
2 - How about an AT&T commercial that SPEAKS the word iPhone, even just in passing.
3 - Find iPhone in the fine print of AT&T ADs.. I haven't the eyes to read that stuff quick enough but you might get lucky... maybe

I remember watching one with the Wilson brother. Where they replace everyone's iPhone with other phones, and they won't say iPhone, but everyone just says, "Hey where'd my COOL PHONE go?!?!"

I made mention of that while watching it.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamNCheese View Post

What difference does LTE (or WiMax for that matter) make... CDMA technology is one thing, but no international carrier wants anything to do with LTE. HSPA+ gets them much more of the global market, and (as tmo has shown) it overlays quite well on top of existing GSM based technology.

You have this almost exactly backwards. Some of CDMA's biggest adopters (Verizon and China Mobile) are already working on moving to LTE, and many other carriers are following suit.

LTE will be a more universal mobile standard than has been seen since the popularization of mobile service.
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