updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri June 27, 2008
Verizon iPhone Conspiracy
Estimates that the iPhone will become a widely accepted device are evidence of a bias from those who expect Apple to succeed, Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg tells the Financial Times in an interview. The executive behind the carrier rebuffs notions that iPhone 3G's up-front price cut to $200 will translate to much larger sales and claims Apple's currently small total marketshare as evidence. Apple is a newcomer that has to prove itself, according to the Verizon head, who also suggests that Verizon itself can be disruptive in a shift to mobile devices from computers.
"There goes the conspiracy again," Seidenberg says. "You're declaring them a winner before they've earned it on the field."
He further criticizes Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, saying the luminary doesn't have absolute control of innovation and that he "eventually will get old," giving virtually any company better chances once Jobs no longer exercises a level of creative control at his firm. Seidenberg nonetheless says that Apple is a "great company" outside of its current presence in the phone industry.
While claiming to be unconcerned, critics have charged Verizon with waging a primarily defensive campaign against the iPhone after turning down an opportunity to carry the device in the US. The company has carried multiple touchscreen-focused phones in the months after the iPhone's original launch, including the LG Voyager and Samsung Glyde, and is commonly thought to have withheld its pricing for the just-shipped LG Dare handset until it could confirm iPhone 3G pricing and adjust if necessary.
The carrier is planning more aggressive moves to upset the iPhone and incumbent carrier AT&T in the future with a planned buyout of Alltel that gives it more subscribers as well as the impending release of the BlackBerry Thunder, Research in Motion's first touchscreen device.