It’s been well known for some time now that Verizon wants the iPhone on its network, but to what lengths is the company willing to go to get it? The talk has been endless for the past few years, especially in 2009, that Verizon was gunning to get Apple’s iPhone away from AT&T. With the current exclusivity contract coming up for renewal in 2010, anything is possible when it comes to the highly desired smartphone. The question remains, though, as to how Verizon could finally finagle its way into being the carrier of choice in the United States.
If you live in the U.S.A. you have undoubtedly seen the 3G network coverage commercials that Verizon and AT&T have been flinging at one another. Verizon started the fight, but AT&T was quick to respond with the odd choice of actor Luke Wilson as its spokesperson. Could these ads possibly be the way to swing Apple over to Verizon in the coming year?
If anything, Apple isn’t going to be happy with either carrier over this little schoolyard fight they are having. It was reported by eWeek, that market research firm BrandIndex, which polls over 5,000 adults in the U.S. daily for how they perceive brands, found that people were disliking both companies more and more over this fight. The only brand with an increasing approval rating was RIM’s BlackBerry phone, but that was before the most recent service outages those units had.
There is no doubt that network quality has been at play with the iPhone with many people saying AT&T’s network isn’t robust enough to handle the phone. However, AT&T has been trying to lay the blame at Apple’s feet, and saying that it is the phone that causes the problems. This won’t sit well with Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, when it comes time to talk over a contract extension. You know what else won’t sit well with Mr. Jobs? Pulling sales of his flagship product from all of New York City. There is no clue if that will last, but it sure isn’t going to win AT&T any brownie points with Apple.
On the other side of things, Verizon is doing everything it can to impress Apple. To that end, Anthony Melone, Verizon’s Wireless Chief Technology Officer. spoke with Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently about upgrades the company is making to its network. “We have put things in place already,” Mr. Melone said, “We are prepared to support that traffic.” This is in stark contrast to AT&T saying it may offer incentives to its heaviest iPhone users to reduce how much data they are using each month.
So, what will happen in 2010 with the iPhone? Your guess is as good as ours. Verizon is certainly making a strong case for Apple to move the iPhone over to Verizon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen as Steve Jobs isn’t well known for changing his mind. Of course, the optimal solution for consumers would probably be to see the phone offered on multiple networks so there would be some competition for their business, but who knows when, if ever, that will happen.