What kind of a deal with the devil has Cingular done to get at the hottest mobile phone in the business?
Verizon Wireless now says they walked away from the iPhone deal nearly two years ago largely because of Apple’s high financial demands and control of retail distribution and device support. Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president tells USA Today plainly “We said no.” Verizon Wireless spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson tells us:
“We were extremely concerned that Apple’s tight grip would mean that our great distribution partners – WalMart, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale – would be left out of the equation. And we weren’t going to let that happen.”
Right, can’t forget BJ’s!
This makes it look like Steve Jobs iPhone strategy will follow the Apple’s standard retail model more closely, avoiding the average electronics store and concentrating on sales and support out of the Apple digs.
We’re wondering what Verizon had more of a problem with – the retail outlets, or the reported cut of the monthly subscriber fees? According to our sources Verizon Wireless was also in serious exploratory talks over an MVNO with Apple. Well that clearly didn’t go anywhere.
Regardless, it’s clear that Jobs had been negotiating with the country’s two largest wireless carriers for a few years. What we wouldn’t give to learn more about the details of the Apple’s Cingular deal — will the largest mobile deal of the year end up being a smart deal for the nation’s largest carrier?