updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2007
Verizon on iPhone Killer
Verizon can use services rather than devices to compete against the iPhone, the carrier's CEO Ivan Seidenberg said today at a press event during this week's NXTcomm expo. The company head dismissed notions that one or more hot devices would be the only solution to counteracting Apple's effect on the US phone market, saying that services were at least as important and would convince users to keep subscriptions where many other carriers suffer from a rapid turnover of users who sign up for but soon leave their services. Verizon's customers are typically far more loyal, Seidenberg said.
"We just added four new devices in the past month," Seidenberg said. "The new BlackBerry is flying off shelves. The way we see it, our customers have price points and service packaging that is different."
The CEO also pointed to services that were currently impossible to reproduce on other networks, such as its V CAST TV digital broadcasts that requires a Verizon subscription and one of the few phones capable of supporting over-the-air TV in the US.
And no proof exists yet that AT&T's strategy is the right one, Seidenberg added. While AT&T has declared that the iPhone will change the industry, Verizon will take a wait-and-see approach to determine whether or not it should adapt its plans in the wake of Apple's hardware. "I don't think it changes the game plan for how we approach the market," he said. "But we need to see the impact. The burden is on [AT&T] to prove the market will change."
Verizon reportedly turned down the iPhone two years ago, when it felt that Apple's terms for the deal were too stringent and would have taken much of the control of sales and service away from the carrier.