Originally Posted by melgross
However well Verizon is doing, they would be doing better had they made the deal.
That's somewhat debatable. Apple was very likely asking for the sun and the moon in their offer to Verizon. ATT was in a weaker position than VZW, and was willing to cough up said sun and moon. VZW wasn't. And, in retrospect, I can't really blame them.
Even with the iPhone, ATT is still only battling VZW to a standstill, pretty much (and a lot of this is due to ATT's strength in prepaid, actually). With the VZW-Alltel merger that will be finalized anytime now, VZW re-gains the title of #1 US carrier... again, without
the iPhone. VZW has lost a few customers to the iPhone, but their churn rate hasn't climbed dramatically. Their ARPU is fine. They'd like
the iPhone, but they don't truly need
it. Though the 3G model's success must be turning their heads more than a bit.
But, if you really think about it, Apple probably needs Verizon more than VZW needs Apple. With the Alltel merger, Verizon will have over 80 million customers, quite a bit more than ATT, and about one-third of the US market. If Apple is willing to cut VZW a more reasonable deal than it offered in the past and get them onboard, Apple's US sales stand to skyrocket, as there are lots of ppl out there who want an iPhone, but like their VZW (and Alltel) service and don't want to switch (or who are on the fence but don't want to pay the ETF, which is quite expensive on multi-line/family plans).
You'd have to think that getting VZW-Alltel onboard is goal one for Apple the instant the ATT exclusive runs out. Because there's just not many alternatives.
Sprint is dysfunctional and shrinking, and is pretty wedded to Wi-Max (I doubt Apple wishes to make a WiMax version of the iPhone). T-Mobile is barely a third of VZW-Alltel's size, and has an extremely limited 3G network (they started deploying it very late). US Cellular is a very good carrier, but they're tiny compared to the big boys. And so on.