Verizon was 'never in the running' for original iPhone, says CEO

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg admitted in an interview Thursday that the nation's largest wireless network was "never in the running" for the first-generation iPhone because Apple was focused on the GSM technology.



Seidenberg filled in details of the lengthy negotiation process between Apple and Verizon in an interview with journalist Charlie Rose of BusinessWeek.



Rose's first question focused on the ongoing debate over the relative merits of the AT&T and Verizon networks. "Do you expect to have the problems AT&T had with the iPhone?" Rose asked.



As expected, Seidenberg remained confident in Verizon's ability to withstand a glut of new iPhone users, citing "a little-known fact" that the network carries "almost as much data as [AT&T]." "We think we're ready, and we're not going to talk much about it. We're just going to let the performance speak for itself," said Seidenberg.



According to Seidenberg, when Apple approached carriers about the first-generation iPhone, "it wanted one carrier in every major market." Since Apple was focused on just one technology, GSM, they chose AT&T. Verizon had "good discussions" with them, but Apple wasn't interested in building devices for GSM and CDMA.



As such, Verizon never ended up participating in "the sort of mating dance" that AT&T and Apple went through, because it was "never in the running." Over the last three years, however, Apple has been expanding to multiple carriers in other markets, so Verizon "did have a lot of discussion with them over the last couple years," Seidenberg noted.



When asked by Rose who initiated the talks, Seidenberg admitted that he had called up Apple CEO Steve Jobs and gone out to visit him. Verizon President and COO Lowell McAdam called up Apple COO Tim Cook and went to visit him, as well.



"We consciously reached out to them more than once. This was the view that we had that...eventually their interests would align with ours."



Seidenberg praised Jobs, calling the Verizon iPhone "just another arrow in his quiver," while also calling the partnership between Apple and his company strategic because Verizon is "further along in 4G" than the other carriers. "If you do your job well," he continued, "then in an industry like this, eventually the right partners are going to end up on the dance floor."



During the interview, Seidenberg cited an "hilarious" statistic: "90 percent of the traffic on the Internet in five years will be video." According to the executive, Verizon is "sitting in a position to say that between our global Internet backbone, our FiOS [residential fiber-optic network], and now our nationwide wireless network, we're in a position to put all the video that anybody wants to put on any tablet, on any device, any television set...anything they want.



"So we can have a lot of fun in the short term banging heads with AT&T, but in the long term it's going to open up a new market and allow us to work with a great company like Apple to help us develop products."



Seidenberg said he was fine with not having the Verizon logo on the iPhone because the network "has already proven that we're more than a one-device company."



"We're going to continue to do a great job on the BlackBerry and a great job on the Droid," he added.



After 45 years of working at Verizon, Seidenberg will retire later this year. McAdam is set to take over as CEO.



Seidenberg's comments Thursday were in line with those made by McAdam on Wednesday. McAdam told Bloomberg in an interview that the technical planning for the Verizon iPhone took 6-9 months.



Verizon announced the long-expected CDMA iPhone Tuesday at a media event in New York City Tuesday. The carrier will begin selling Apple's popular smartphone on Feb. 10 for a starting price of $199.



Analysts expect the network to put significant "marketing muscle" behind the iPhone 4.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,262member
    See the Non Technical discussions took way longer then the technical, and at least VZ admitted they were the ones stroking Apple for years not the other way around. As I said before this is way more important to VZ than Apple, then again this could give apple a proving ground for LTE, but as we know VZ LTE is data only till then end of 2012... so will will have to see, Maybe the ipad 2 will be LTE on VZ.
  • Reply 2 of 47
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  • Reply 3 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    During the interview, Seidenberg cited an "hilarious" statistic: "90 percent of the traffic on the Internet in five years will be video." According to the executive, Verizon is "sitting in a position to say that between our global Internet backbone, our FiOS [residential fiber-optic network], and now our nationwide wireless network, we're in a position to put all the video that anybody wants to put on any tablet, on any device, any television set...anything they want.

    [ View this article at AppleInsider.com ][/c]



    Their existing customers certainly appreciate how they are changing their upgrade policies so that unless your existing contract has been pretty much completed, no discounted iPhone for you!



    And of course, Verizon will actively degrade video from sources that don't originate from Verizon or one of their partners.



    Once the iPhone get's going on their network, I also expect Verizon to also flip from having more generous data plans than AT&T to ones with lower limits than AT&T, in order to 'differentiate' their plans...
  • Reply 4 of 47
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    yeeeahh riiight
  • Reply 5 of 47
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Apple wanted to go with GSM and have a worldwide device - how surprising, would never have thought of that.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Sure did seem to be a lot of people over the years, authoritatively declaring on these boards that Apple went to Verizon first and got told to go take a hike. Crazy old control freak Jobs overstepped his bounds and had to go plead his case to AT&T after Verizon showed him the door, or so the story went.



    No worries, though-- this bit of urban legend will still be dredged up whenever and wherever Apple haters have an axe to grind, till the end of time.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    yeeeahh riiight



    yep. they were in running for this one, since finally they can use it on their network
  • Reply 8 of 47
    mgl323mgl323 Posts: 247member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    According to Seidenberg, when Apple approached carriers about the first-generation iPhone, "it wanted one carrier in every major market." Since Apple was focused on just one technology, GSM, they chose AT&T. Verizon had "good discussions" with them, but Apple wasn't interested in building devices for GSM and CDMA.



    Yeah, they went to AT&T, right after Verizon rejected Apple from the start.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Wow, that didn't take long. Any thoughts on why the CEO of Verizon would lie about this?
  • Reply 10 of 47
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,119member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    Yeah, they went to AT&T, right after Verizon rejected Apple from the start.



    Reality bites when the company (Verizon) itself blows your belief right out of the water with logical and compelling reasoning. Yet even then, you still refuse to accept reality.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    CDMA is a tiny little niche market, GSM is huge by comparison. Why do some people think Apple would have preferred to have launched a CDMA - almost USA only device - rather than a global product?



    Please explain your reasoning. Should be entertaining. at least.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post




    as we know VZ LTE is data only till then end of 2012... so will will have to see, Maybe the ipad 2 will be LTE on VZ.



    If one is to take the above Timeline "as Gospel", totally accurate, indisputable truth, (please provide the links in support of that statement), then does one have to assume that Simultaneous Voice & Data on Verizon's CDMA won't be available "till then end of 2012", 2 years from now...????!!!!



    In that case, I guess I should buy my first iPhone ASAP, and have it on Verizon, so that my Contract Meter starts running ASAP, and have it expire as close to "the end of 2012" as possible? An additional reason for that would be that it's unlikely that Verizon will offer early Upgrades on iPhones, as ATT did, cause ATT wanted to lock in customers, fearing that those customer would run away to Verizon or elsewhere...



    Please don't think I am trying to give you a dig, it's just pretty agonizing at this point for me trying to decide on the Timing of my 1st iPhone purchase, and picking between these 2 carriers!



    I want to have Simultaneous Voice & Data, and Rollover Minutes, but I also want to be able to use the phone! As is the case now, it seems impossible to do both, unless one is in a good ATT area, and their Network is not too busy!



    Also, all this Opinion Wars as far as ATT vs. Verizon are frustrating too, and it's going to get a lot worse when the Ads Wars are about to get more edge (pun intended) !



    Thanks in advance to those who will Reply to this post!!!!
  • Reply 13 of 47
    tjwtjw Posts: 216member
    Yeah - no brainier really - GSM is a much better technology and it's global. CDMA would have been a stupid choice. Its only happening now because at&t have shown they can't build a GSM network and so provide a rubbish service
  • Reply 14 of 47
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macologist View Post


    If one is to take the above Timeline "as Gospel", totally accurate, indisputable truth, (please provide the links in support of that statement), then does one have to assume that Simultaneous Voice & Data on Verizon's CDMA won't be available "till then end of 2012", 2 years from now...????!!!!



    Verizon's CDMA network may never have simultaneous voice and data. The original poster's statement that LTE will be data only until the end of 2012 means that at that point the LTE network will handle voice and data simultaneously. The real question is whether Apple would ever make an iPhone that has both CDMA and LTE. That would then get you your simultaneous voice (via CDMA) and data (via LTE).



    I think it's a toss-up if that will happen. It might be too early (technologically speaking) to expect at CDMA/LTE iPhone in 2011. They could do it in 2012, but would they do it for only one year if the expectation is that in 2013 Verizon's network will be ready for an LTE-only phone?
  • Reply 15 of 47
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Wow, that didn't take long. Any thoughts on why the CEO of Verizon would lie about this?



    So he wouldn't look S.T.U.P.I.D.?



    Dear shareholders and Board of Directors... The iPhone could have been manufactured with our technology for the past five years and our subscriber base and profits would have been more then they were, but I said "Pass"... Can I have another raise?!



    iPhone was a radical departure from things at the time... Not everything that comes out of Cupertino is hit. Apples terms may have been unacceptable, coming from a "Phone Startup"! It's possible. Didn't Xerox execs pass on PARCs GUI for computers? Didn't Bill Clinton not have sex with that woman? Could not Verizon's CEO fall into both categories? Stupid and a liar trying to cover his mistakes? It wouldn't be the first time. \
  • Reply 16 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Sure did seem to be a lot of people over the years, authoritatively declaring on these boards that Apple went to Verizon first and got told to go take a hike.







    Are you surprised that posters here are certain about things for which they have no evidence?



    It is called faith. We got it.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Realistic View Post


    Reality bites when the company (Verizon) itself blows your belief right out of the water with logical and compelling reasoning. Yet even then, you still refuse to accept reality.







    When the belief is comforting and the reality is harsh, some folks prefer their fantasies.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macologist View Post


    I want to have Simultaneous Voice & Data, and Rollover Minutes, but I also want to be able to use the phone!







    Eventually, it is likely that ATT will start carrying some good Android phones. My guess is sooner rather than later. None of them are famous for signal attenuation, detuning or dropped calls. It is also likely that Apple will fix the antenna problems on the ATT iPhone eventually.



    Hang in there.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    Yeah, they went to AT&T, right after Verizon rejected Apple from the start.



    yeah right because a non GSM phone is really useful on the rest of the planet...
  • Reply 20 of 47
    Funny Verizon jab. (This is one way to triple iPhone sales!)





    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehxpvrJC5VA
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