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Verizon CFO lauds iPhone, says no plans to incentivize selling rival low-subsidy handsets

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said on Monday that Apple's free-on-contract iPhone 4 produced "a lot" of volume for America's Verizon Wireless, and despite high subsidy costs, the telecom will not offer incentives for sales staff to push low-cost alternatives.

Fran Shammo
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo.


Shammo made the comments during the Deutsche Bank 2013 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference earlier today, in which he fielded a few questions pertaining to the performance of Apple's iPhone on Verizon's U.S. network.

It was announced in January that Apple's iPhone accounted for 6.2 million of the 9.8 million smartphones Verizon activated in the fourth quarter of 2012, the strongest period of sales since the carrier starting selling the handset in 2011.

According to Shammo, the uptick in iPhone customers was mostly in thanks to the iPhone 4 price drop, which allowed Verizon to offer a free-on-contract Apple smartphone for the first time. The handset led to strong growth in 3G subscriber numbers, an important point given that the company is no longer investing in building out that network. All capital allocated to Verizon's 3G services are for maintenance only, Shammo said.

As for subsidies, the CFO was asked whether he would incentivize Verizon's salesforce to sell low-subsidy units in an attempt to manage margins. Shammo was against such practices, saying it is important that customers leave a Verizon store with the device they want.

"The worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incent [sic] a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don't like it," Shammo said, according to a transcript (PDF) provided by Verizon. "Therefore, now I've just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can't resell as a new phone."
post #2 of 57
Sadly, I expect Apple stock to drop another $10 tomorrow due to this news. /s
post #3 of 57

So imaginative! Ugh!

post #4 of 57
The real Ugh! is the market reaction to the parade of great news about this company. Best quarter ever and they fall off a cliff. At least those of us in for the long term can load up on stock at low prices for the next leg up.
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Shammo, the uptick in iPhone customers was mostly in thanks to the iPhone 4 price drop...

WS spin: no one want an iPhone 5.
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

Sadly, I expect Apple stock to drop another $10 tomorrow due to this news. /s

Pretty much.

Note, however, that he didn't say anything denying the fact that sales people pressure people to buy Android phones.
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post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

The real Ugh! is the market reaction to the parade of great news about this company. Best quarter ever and they fall off a cliff. At least those of us in for the long term can load up on stock at low prices for the next leg up.
 

I'm in for the long term, too....but lately I've been real nervous about what's happening! Are you confident Apple can rebound in the near future? What's your opinion?

post #8 of 57
File this under "DUH"

Even if Verizon has to write a $450 check to Apple to subsidize the iPhone 4... Verizon still ends up with around $1500 over the life of that contract.

The customer gets the "free" iPhone 4 they want... and Verizon gets tons of money.

I don't know why this is such a shock.
post #9 of 57
Any positive news doesn't help at this point. This is probably the most scrutinized stock ever, and almost all the pundits are wrong. Wall Street will never understand Apple, also Apples justifiable secret habits make all the big hedge fund managers very nervous. In a short time from now they will jump on board again, late out of the gate. Take a look at that Greenlight shumck, from what I understand he didn't get in till it was in the 500s. Let all the joyriders go, those of us in it for the long run and do know Apple will be handsomely rewarded.
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

Sadly, I expect Apple stock to drop another $10 tomorrow due to this news. /s

Apple could announce a cure for cancer and the stock would drop.  I'm just waiting for the Google and Amazon drop.  It will happen.  If people think Apple was overvalued well what the hell is Google and Amazon right now?  Apple's PE is around 9 now.  Google's is 24.  Does that make any sense?

post #11 of 57
Verizon stands to benifit just as much as apple from the retention of the iPhone. Why mess up that relationship with the customer over 'low-cost' or otherwise known as cheap and useless alternatives?

People buy the iPhone, they love it, and they come back for more. Apple is selling these people cocaine and verizon/at&t/sprint are raking in the dough.
post #12 of 57

That's nice. They also said they had "no plans" on selling the iPhone right up until they announced they were selling the iPhone.

These statements aren't worth the cheap plastic keys they're tapped out on.

post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Apple could announce a cure for cancer and the stock would drop.  I'm just waiting for the Google and Amazon drop.  It will happen.  If people think Apple was overvalued well what the hell is Google and Amazon right now?  Apple's PE is around 9 now.  Google's is 24.  Does that make any sense?

 

So true! Even the Oracle of Omaha is advicing Tim to not to cave in to the WS! Other than manipulation of AAPL, there is no meaningful explanation on what is happening to this share.Yes, maybe the ride to $700 might be over done, but, at the same time the spiral down is way over done. If you are long term, I wouldn't worry too much.

post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

Sadly, I expect Apple stock to drop another $10 tomorrow due to this news. /s


This is getting so old that we can smell it across the internet.

post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Pretty much.

Note, however, that he didn't say anything denying the fact that sales people pressure people to buy Android phones.

Yes he did, and it's mentioned in the article title. If you were really interested in the facts you could have read the Verizon CFO's actual quote on the subject too. When asked about whether Verizon offers incentives to salespeople to move non-iPhone handsets he said:

 

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. "

 

He then went on to explain why:

 

"Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incent a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking
you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don't like it. Therefore, now I've just subsidized two smartphones because that
phone you used I can't resell as a new phone."
 
"...so every handset is treated equally within our lineup. And that is important to us"

 

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_deutsche_conf_trans_2013.pdf

Page 9 speciifically.

 

Another of your talking points bites the dust JR . . .


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/13 at 4:15am
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post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Yes he did, and it's mentioned in the article title. If you were really interested in the facts you could have read the Verizon CFO's actual quote on the subject too. When asked about whether Verizon offers incentives to salespeople to move non-iPhone handsets he said:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. "


He then went on to explain why:


"Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incent a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking
you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don't like it. Therefore, now I've just subsidized two smartphones because that
phone you used I can't resell as a new phone."
 
"...so every handset is treated equally within our lineup. And that is important to us"

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_deutsche_conf_trans_2013.pdf
Page 9 speciifically.

Another of your talking points bites the dust JR . . .

And, yet, there are endless reports of people being specifically talked out of the iPhone they wanted when they walked into Verizon stores.

Yeah, I'm sure that Verizon's CEO is really going to publicly admit that they're screwing over their largest supplier.
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post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Yes he did, and it's mentioned in the article title. If you were really interested in the facts you could have read the Verizon CFO's actual quote on the subject too. When asked about whether Verizon offers incentives to salespeople to move non-iPhone handsets he said:

 

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. "

 

He then went on to explain why:

 

"The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone."

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_deutsche_conf_trans_2013.pdf

Page 9 speciifically.

 

Another of your talking points bites the dust JR . . .

 

Right, because we should take everything he says at face value even though it conflicts with every previous independent report on the topic because, hey, why would he possibly lie to us? Yes, yes, he even gives a rationale to his lie, but it's just that. If Verizon were so intent on pushing the iPhone, then why do they spend so much money advertising other phones?

 

He's got about as much credibility as you do, none.

post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


And, yet, there are endless reports of people being specifically talked out of the iPhone they wanted when they walked into Verizon stores.

Yeah, I'm sure that Verizon's CEO is really going to publicly admit that they're screwing over their largest supplier.

lol.gif

If he was lying it only takes a single salesperson to prove it. Sounds like a stupid comment to make if it's so easily proven wrong. Should we wait for your evidence of his lying?

 

Don't let facts get in the way of your FUD. What you want to believe is much more important than the truth. Carry on sir, carry on. . .


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/13 at 4:26am
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post #19 of 57

This website has more anti-Apple shills than nearly any other Apple related new site.

 

Only short selling speculators and Samsung shills care about Apple's cash pile, or its share price fluctuations. As the Sage of Omaha and ex-Head of Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffet, says "...buying Apple shares now is like buying dollar bills for 80 cents."

 

As for Verizon, this makes good sense - if an iPhone 4 is free, how does a "cheap" Samesung look different? Why would they mess with a strategy that brought them two thirds of their new subscribers?

post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

lol.gif
If he was lying it only takes a single salesperson to prove it. Sounds like a stupid comment to make if it's so easily proven wrong. Should we wait for your evidence of his lying?

Don't let facts get in the way of your FUD. What you want to believe is much more important than the truth. Carry on sir, carry on. . .

IMHO the problem isn't so much necessarily with Verizon officially encouraging such tactics with offers. There are a hell of a lot of sales staff who are also Apple haters out there talking folks out of Apple devices given half a chance. I have heard this happen numerous times in Best Buy, Target and AT&T stores (I've never actually been in a Verizon store) when a sales person is explaining to an older couple how the Android tablet/phone is the same as an iPad/iPhone only better bla bla bla.

What needs to be done is an official policy by Verizon et al stating that their staff must not try to talk any customer who is specifically asking for an iPhone or an iPad by name into taking some piece of crap instead just because they (usually the spotty young sales guy) loves his Android and hates Apple. Make it a firing offense. /rant
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post #21 of 57
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Originally Posted by SwissMac2 View Post

This website has more anti-Apple shills than nearly any other Apple related new site.

Only short selling speculators and Samsung shills care about Apple's cash pile, or its share price fluctuations. As the Sage of Omaha and ex-Head of Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffet, says "...buying Apple shares now is like buying dollar bills for 80 cents."

As for Verizon, this makes good sense - if an iPhone 4 is free, how does a "cheap" Samesung look different? Why would they mess with a strategy that brought them two thirds of their new subscribers?

I'd have to respectfully disagree on the 'more anti-Apple shills than nearly any other Apple related new site' part. The CNN Money Tech news/Apple 2.0 section has a seemingly automatic flood of Apple hate spewed the instant a post is made.
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post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


IMHO the problem isn't so much necessarily with Verizon officially encouraging such tactics with offers. There are a hell of a lot of sales staff who are also Apple haters out there talking folks out of Apple devices given half a chance. I have heard this happen numerous times in Best Buy, Target and AT&T stores (I've never actually been in a Verizon store) when a sales person is explaining to an older couple how the Android tablet/phone is the same as an iPad/iPhone only better bla bla bla.

What needs to be done is an official policy by Verizon et al stating that their staff must not try to talk any customer who is specifically asking for an iPhone or an iPad by name into taking some piece of crap instead just because they (usually the spotty young sales guy) loves his Android and hates Apple. Make it a firing offense. /rant

Wouldn't that go both ways? I suspect you can find more than a few salespeople at Verizon who think anything other than an iPhone is a waste of a customers money and would not be above pushing iPhones instead of S3's. You gotta admit there's a lot of Android/Google haters around.

 

According to the CFO's very logical reasoning and explanation, anything of that sort is not endorsed by Verizon. It hurts their business if it happens. I'm sure higher return ratios for salespeople who ignore their Verizon sales training is noticed, and not likely to be rewarded.


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/13 at 4:59am
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post #23 of 57
Wasn't this Shammo guy's previous job at Seaworld?... Yeah, I know, like he hasn't heard THAT before...

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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

lol.gif

If he was lying it only takes a single salesperson to prove it. Sounds like a stupid comment to make if it's so easily proven wrong. Should we wait for your evidence of his lying?

 

Don't let facts get in the way of your FUD. What you want to believe is much more important than the truth. Carry on sir, carry on. . .

 

It's already proven that he's lying. Don't let the propaganda get in the way of the facts, although, since you are all about the propaganda, I know that's a viewpoint you don't like.

post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

... According to the CFO's very logical rationale, anything of that sort is not endorsed by Verizon. It hurts their business if it happens. I'm sure higher return ratios for salespeople who ignore their Verizon sales training is noticed, and not likely to be rewarded.

 

I fixed part of it for him, but, I have to say, it's pretty funny that we have GG on here arguing that the CFO of Verizon must be telling the truth because the iPhone is so much better than Android that, if Verizon tried to push customers on to Android, they'd just return it and get an iPhone anyway. lol.gif

 

Oh what a tangled web he weaves...

post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

Sadly, I expect Apple stock to drop another $10 tomorrow due to this news. /s

 

Don't worry. As soon as the hedge fund bastards have milked the "short train" for all it's worth the turn around will be spectacular.

post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Yes he did, and it's mentioned in the article title. If you were really interested in the facts you could have read the Verizon CFO's actual quote on the subject too. When asked about whether Verizon offers incentives to salespeople to move non-iPhone handsets he said:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. "


He then went on to explain why:


"Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incent a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking
you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don't like it. Therefore, now I've just subsidized two smartphones because that
phone you used I can't resell as a new phone."
 
"...so every handset is treated equally within our lineup. And that is important to us"

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_deutsche_conf_trans_2013.pdf
Page 9 speciifically.

Another of your talking points bites the dust JR . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

And, yet, there are endless reports of people being specifically talked out of the iPhone they wanted when they walked into Verizon stores.

Yeah, I'm sure that Verizon's CEO is really going to publicly admit that they're screwing over their largest supplier.

Perhaps things changed, but I know now three people who went in asking for an iPhone, and walked out with a Galaxy SIII, after being convinced by the sales person it was better, and all three returned within a week and got an iPhone. Not to mention, I have never seen an iPhone on display in a Verizon corporate store. Why is that?

Another thing? Maybe Verizon isn't paying a spiff, but that doesn't mean the other manufacturers, like Samsung, aren't.
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post



Perhaps things changed, but I know now three people who went in asking for an iPhone, and walked out with a Galaxy SIII, after being convinced by the sales person it was better, and all three returned within a week and got an iPhone. Not to mention, I have never seen an iPhone on display in a Verizon corporate store. Why is that?

Another thing? Maybe Verizon isn't paying a spiff, but that doesn't mean the other manufacturers, like Samsung, aren't.

Why would Verizon allow that if it increases the likelihood of paying two subsidies and putting one used phone in inventory, no longer able to sell as new? Second, how does Samsung find the right salesperson to pay a "spiff" to. Third, why has no salesperson for Verizon ever come forward to prove any of this actually happens? If it doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true.

 

Other than not wanting to give up a talking point I've no idea why a handful of posters are fighting to keep the imaginary tale of salesperson bonuses for Android phones alive. It's disingenuous.


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/13 at 6:30am
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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Yes he did, and it's mentioned in the article title. If you were really interested in the facts you could have read the Verizon CFO's actual quote on the subject too. When asked about whether Verizon offers incentives to salespeople to move non-iPhone handsets he said:

 

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. "

 

He then went on to explain why:

 

"Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incent a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking
you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don't like it. Therefore, now I've just subsidized two smartphones because that
phone you used I can't resell as a new phone."
 
"...so every handset is treated equally within our lineup. And that is important to us"

 

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_deutsche_conf_trans_2013.pdf

Page 9 speciifically.

 

Another of your talking points bites the dust JR . . .

So you're saying everyone that reported otherwise,and there are a lot that reported it, are liars. Can anyone in his position can tell with a straight face that we don't treat Apple, one of our customers, as well as others, even if it's true?

post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

lol.gif

If he was lying it only takes a single salesperson to prove it. Sounds like a stupid comment to make if it's so easily proven wrong. Should we wait for your evidence of his lying?

 

Don't let facts get in the way of your FUD. What you want to believe is much more important than the truth. Carry on sir, carry on. . .

Single salesperson? How about "multiple" salesperson? But you don't want to hear it anyway, do you? 

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

So you're saying everyone that reported otherwise,and there are a lot that reported it, are liars. Can anyone in his position can tell with a straight face that we don't treat Apple, one of our customers, as well as others, even if it's true?

With the complete and total lack of any objective evidence to the contrary. why would you be so convinced that Verizon's CFO lied in his official statement and they really are paying bonuses to salespeople to push Android phones instead of iPhones? If he's lying here why would you trust his statements on the number of iPhones sold sompared to Android?

 

Aren't there laws about the veracity of statements made in an official capacity as Verizon's CFO? 

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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why would Verizon allow that if it increases the likelihood of paying two subsidies and putting one used phone in inventory, no longer able to sell as new? Second, how does Samsung find the right salesperson to pay a "spiff" to. Third, why has no salesperson for Verizon ever come forward to prove any of this actually happens? If it doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true.

 

Other than not wanting to give up a talking point I've no idea why a handful of posters are fighting to keep the imaginary tale of salesperson bonuses for Android phones alive. It's disingenuous.

It's imaginary because you don't like it, and don't want to hear it. These things have been reported for quite some time. It's not new. 

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

With the complete and total lack of any objective evidence to the contrary. why would you be so convinced that Verizon's CFO lied in his official statement and they really are paying bonuses to salespeople to push Android phones instead of iPhones? If he's lying here why would you trust his statements on the number of iPhones sold sompared to Android?

 

Aren't there laws about the veracity of statements made in an official capacity as Verizon's CFO? 

You mean the number reported to shareholders? Compared to this diplomatic talk? Really?

 

about your last point, are you for real? Is there any law against the President to say he loves one country so much even tomorrow he plan to bomb it to the dark age?

post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Apple could announce a cure for cancer and the stock would drop.  I'm just waiting for the Google and Amazon drop.  It will happen.  If people think Apple was overvalued well what the hell is Google and Amazon right now?  Apple's PE is around 9 now.  Google's is 24.  Does that make any sense?

Yes, it does. Apple is massively dependent on the continued success of their iOS devices, which is competing in a dog-eat-dog world. One unsuccessful release cycle and Apple's PE will be 50+. That's one big reason why the stock is tanking.

 

Google does NOT have this problem. Their outlook is much more stable.

 

It's the Nokia, RIM, Palm effect.

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why would Verizon allow that if it increases the likelihood of paying two subsidies and putting one used phone in inventory, no longer able to sell as new? Second, how does Samsung find the right salesperson to pay a "spiff" to. Third, why has no salesperson for Verizon ever come forward to prove any of this actually happens? If it doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true.

Other than not wanting to give up a talking point I've no idea why a handful of posters are fighting to keep the imaginary tale of salesperson bonuses for Android phones alive. It's disingenuous.

Not saying it is or isn't happening. I don't know any Verizon sales people personally so can't ask one.

All I know is when I sold both sneakers and audio equipment, manufacturers would offer spiffs. It was coordinated with my store, but was not 'paid' by my employer. IIRC, I think it was a separate line item on my check.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by galore2112 View Post

Yes, it does. Apple is massively dependent on the continued success of their iOS devices, which is competing in a dog-eat-dog world. One unsuccessful release cycle and Apple's PE will be 50+. That's one big reason why the stock is tanking.

Google does NOT have this problem. Their outlook is much more stable.

It's the Nokia, RIM, Palm effect.

It still doesn't make sense. The reality is that Apple has successful launches for most of its products in the last 10+ years. While past performance does not equal future success, you can't predict doom and gloom if there is no evidence to support that outlook.
post #37 of 57
What really kills me is that Apple posted their best quarter ever back in January yet their stock still dropped.
That makes no conceptual sense but then again this is Wall Street we're taking about.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


It still doesn't make sense. The reality is that Apple has successful launches for most of its products in the last 10+ years. While past performance does not equal future success, you can't predict doom and gloom if there is no evidence to support that outlook.

 

Sure, there's a good chance that Apple will continue to be super successful. But if you are responsible for a LOT of money, chances are you'll invest in something a bit less volatile right now. The 10+ years of success were on a much smaller level than from 2007 (more like 2008) on. And there was the visionary Steve Jobs. And there was no real competition in 2008, 2009, 2010 for the iPhone.

 

Now you have extreme competition in the smart phone space and an unproven CEO at Apple. And other massive changes at the executive level. And a relatively stagnant differentiator with their mobile OS, which was light years ahead during the mega growth years but is arguably a bit unimaginative lately.

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

It's imaginary because you don't like it, and don't want to hear it. These things have been reported for quite some time. It's not new. 

Then it should be really easy for you to link to some evidence of those bonuses being paid to Verizon salespeople. Ohh, wait. . .

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post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Single salesperson? How about "multiple" salesperson? But you don't want to hear it anyway, do you? 

Where? Just one confirmed statement should do.


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/13 at 8:14am
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