updated 02:40 pm EDT, Fri June 29, 2007
The iPhone is purely a reactionary device meant to keep AT&T on par, Verizon's operations chief Jack Plating said today in a note sent to many of the company's employees. Attempting to inject the message with humor with an "iWhatever" headline, the executive said that carrying Apple's device was only an attempt to "stay competive" with Verizon, which he said was superior through its faster EVDO cellular Internet access and its phone selection. AT&T is likely to focus on the hardware alone and ignore the importance of the network, he added.
"The iPhone is simply a response to you [in the company] and what Verizon Wireless has achieved," he said.
Though qualifying his claims by warning that the long-term impact of the iPhone on Verizon was still uncertain, the chief's e-mail echoed the company's counter-campaign message yesterday, which promised special deals on phones and argued that the company's mix of current media services and devices was enough of a response by itself.
The message also contradicted recent developments observed by subscribers to AT&T's network, who in recent hours have noticed speed improvements over EDGE and currently outnumber Verizon customers in overall US subscription rates.