“The Apple iPhone, due out next month, has been breathlessly hailed as offering consumers the ultimate wireless experience,” Leslie Cauley reports for USA Today. “It also could give AT&T, its exclusive U.S. distributor, the ultimate experience for a wireless carrier: an easy way to handcuff rivals and steal customers… If you want an iPhone anytime soon, you’ll have to take your business to AT&T.”
Cauley reports, “Stan Sigman, CEO of wireless at AT&T, makes no apologies for his tough approach. ‘I’m glad we have (the iPhone) in our bag,’ he says. ‘Others will try to match it, but for a period of time, they’re going to be playing catch-up.'”
“They also sparred over the iPhone…. Verizon passed on the opportunity to become the exclusive U.S. distributor, balking at Apple’s demand for control over distribution, pricing, marketing and more. That left an opening for AT&T — then called Cingular — to cement a deal,” Cauley reports.
Cauley reports, “Denny Strigl, Verizon’s chief operating officer, decided to pass on the iPhone deal and says he has no regrets: ‘Time will tell’ if he made the right call, he says. ‘The issue is not the Apple-ness of the iPhone itself, but with the cellular network that it is running on,’ Strigl says, picking his words carefully. ‘That will be the true test of the iPhone: What will the iPhone experience be?'”
Cauley reports, “Given Apple’s cultlike following, however, Verizon isn’t taking any chances. Strigl says Verizon is already working with a manufacturer — he declines to say which one — on an answer to the iPhone. ‘We do have a very good response in the mill,’ he says. ‘You’ll see that from us in the late summer.'”
Full article here.
Strigl makes a very weak attempt to freeze a market that will soon turn red hot with Apple iPhone’s debut.