Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg on the CDMA iPhone

Fri, Jan 14, 2011


In an interview with Bloomberg, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg discusses the forthcoming arrival of the iPhone, how the carrier is planning to deal with an onslaught of data while also shedding some light on how the CDMA iPhone came to be

Regarding their network preparedness:

We’ve prepared greatly. We’ve observed everything that’s gone on with what they’ve done. A little-known fact is that we carry almost as much data as they do. So even though we don’t have the iPhone today, our Droid users are heavy data users….So we’ve had good success in carrying a lot of data up until this point…. We’re just going to let the performance speak for itself.

Interestingly enough, Seidenberg intimates that Verizon reached out to Apple to carry the iPhone and that Seidenberg personally called up Steve Jobs to say, “Let’s take another look at this.”

Yeah. Well, I did. I did call up Steve and go visit him. Lowell McAdam [Verizon Wireless president and COO] called up [Apple COO] Tim Cook and went to visit him. So it was not just a one-person thing. We consciously reached out to them more than once. This was the view that we had that…eventually their interests would align with ours.

Regarding Apple’s iPhone roadmap and Verizon’s 4G network:

We’re further along in 4G than others are. So I think this decision, from Apple’s standpoint, is also very strategic because they get to establish a relationship with us early in their cycles to take advantage of the 4G stuff that’s going to come out over the next 12 months. If you do your job well, then in an industry like this, eventually the right partners are going to end up on the dance floor.

And though Seidenberg might be hamming it up a bit, he explains that it wasn’t a big deal for Verizon to agreee not to plaster their logo on the iPhone.

No. I’m fine with that, simply because—I want to make sure I say this right, because I don’t want it to come out wrong—we get a lot of customers on the Droid devices, so I think we’ve already proven that we’re more than a one-device company. We’re going to work our tail off to do a great job on the iPhone. But I think we’re going to continue to do a great job on the BlackBerry and a great job on the Droid.



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