Commentary

Verizon IPhone On Hold, Facebook Phone Back On

Seidenberg-

After yesterday, the prospect of a Facebook phone is looking more like a reality than a Verizon iPhone. Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg Thursday expressed frustration at Apple's apparent reluctance to strike a deal with the nation's largest carrier to offer Apple's flagship device.  

"At some point, Apple will get with the program," Seidenberg told attendees at an investor conference, according to a Wall Street Journalreport. He declined to comment on widespread speculation that Verizon would get the iPhone next year. He added Verizon didn't feel as if it had an "iPhone deficit" but at the same time acknowledged, "We would love to have it, but we have to earn it."

What's AT&T done to earn and keep its exclusive deal with AT&T? Exasperate iPhone customers with spotty service and dropped calls? With its reputation for the most reliable service among the major carriers, Verizon has already driven many iPhone customers to fantasize about a Verizon iPhone. Nearly a quarter (23%) would switch to Verizon if given the chance, according to a recent Credit Suisse report.

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The rumors of a Verizon iPhone had heated up lately because of analyst reports Apple would soon begin production of a version of the phone that would work with CDMA, the technology used in Verizon's network. Whatever Apple's plans in that regard, Seidenberg is hoping the carrier's efforts to begin rolling out its 4G network in some markets by year's end will help earn Apple's affection.

If nothing else, you'd have to think Android's march across the mobile landscape is ratcheting up the pressure on Apple to make new friends among the U.S. carriers. Verizon has benefited from the rise of Android as much as any operator but clearly still covets the iPhone. And while the device may elude its grasp, Verizon is adopting something else from AT&T: the carrier's tiered-pricing approach to mobile data.

Seidenberg said the carrier's new data plans would roll out over the next four to six months and would differ from those AT&T introduced in June, but didn't offer details. The shift to tiered pricing was one widely rumored step by Verizon that turned out to be true.

The bad news is that even with new data plans, Verizon still won't have the iPhone -- and looks to be losing out to AT&T again, this time on the so-called Facebook phone. After Facebook denied rumors earlier in the week that it was building its own device, a Bloomberg report Thursday said the company was working with London-based manufacturer INQ Mobile Ltd. on a pair of smartphones that would be carried by AT&T.

Well, Verizon still has its Droid army.

3 comments about "Verizon IPhone On Hold, Facebook Phone Back On ".
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  1. John Bosso from Red Bricks Media, September 24, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.

    Does anyone really care anymore??

    I am a long time Verizon customer back to the GTE days as their coverage is way better for my uses.

    I now have the DroidX and am very happy to be in the Android family of apps and at this point will never switch to ATT just to get an iPhone.

  2. Lisa Totino from BGT Partners, September 24, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.

    I'm on AT&T and have never had a problem with dropped calls--but I don't have an iPhone. I wonder if some of the service problems are with the phone itself.

  3. Les Blatt from Freelance New Media Person, September 24, 2010 at 2:56 p.m.

    We dropped AT&T many years ago because their service doesn't work where I live (and make most of my calls) and Verizon does. I use a Droid, and I'm quite happy with it. I would consider an iPhone - but if Apple wants to keep playing with AT&T, I'm quite happy to ignore it. A phone is only as good as its network, no matter how many "kewl" applications it has.

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