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Verizon at work on iPhone competitor

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USA Today originally revealed that Verizon passed on the opportunity to become the exclusive U.S. distributor for the iPhone because it didn’t agree to cede control over distribution, pricing, marketing and more. Now the national newspaper reports that AT&T’s fiercest rival is working with an unnamed manufacturer on “an answer to the iPhone” due in the late summer.

Denny Strigle, Verizon’s chief operating officer was the one who decided to pass on the iPhone deal and says he has no regrets about it. His opinion is that Verizon’s network is better than AT&T’s and a phone is only as good as the network it runs on.

“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?”

Of course, that doesn’t mean Verizon isn’t going to respond 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.”

Considering that the strength of Apple is its tight integration of hardware and software, I’m left wondering what existing manufacturers handle both, much less with the same style and polish as Apple.

Strigle notes that “time will tell” if he made the right call. Well, yes, of course it will. Is there anything less obvious to say than that?

AT&T eager to wield its iWeapon

13 Responses to “Verizon at work on iPhone competitor”

  1. P.S. “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?”

    So what he was saying is that he doubted the iphone experience would be very good so people would not want one….after a while. So it wasn’t the phone? Then why didn’t they pick up the iphone & put it on the best network, Verizon? Because Verizon’s management are a bunch of idiots!

  2. To Kyle M Brown, I do not agree…. completely. Do I think Verizon has a superior network? Yes. Do I think it is enough to quash the iphone’s capabilities and attraction? No. While Verizon, in my opinion, have the best network, I am certain that AT&T is a capable network. It is at least capable enough for people to tolerate for people to own an iphone. Sure the iphone isn’t the be-all, end-all of useful devises but you cannot deny that it is a desirable devise that is wanted by nearly everyone on one level or another. I am one of them. I have had Verizon for countless years & am happy with the network for the most part. I am not happy, however, that Verizon did not have the foresight to see a hot commodity when it was presented to them on a platter. Sure a devise is “only as good as the network it is running on” But I think the test is over & the phone is great. I WANT ONE…. I SO want one but I can’t have one without changing over to AT&T. In my opinion, all phones pale in comparison. Is it the best, probably not but it sure is sexy & fun. Could I own a BlackBerry Storm or one of the other iphone clones? Sure, but I don’t think it will ever compare. No matter what phone I have or get I will still want an iphone. It makes me regret being a Verizon customer. It really does.

  3. I left Cingular/ATT and will never go back. Way too many connectivity issues and I live in a major market in a wide open valley. The iPhone is a cool toy/device but it’s not realible IMO to do the very basic task of making a telephone call. I have several people who call me on this phone and network and it’s horrible! Sure my Verizon phone isn’t as cool but I can make a call w/o drops and cut-outs.

  4. What idiot would pass on the Iphone??!!? This would have been the perfect opportunity for Verizon to dominate the market over sprint for once as well as win me and many other Sprint customers over. Some of the Verizon top executives need to be out looking for a new job with less responsibility as they really screwed the shareholders over on this one! It is now November and they still do not have a legitimate competing phone. What, the LG Voyager with it’s ridicules fold out keyboard and moving parts that break or wear out? Calling this a mistake would be a gross understatement!

    I personally don’t care for the business tactics that Apple uses but the fact remains the same, Iphone is the goods and no one else has out done it to date! Simply put, Apple builds quality stuff. Their stuff is very well engineered and well thought out. Who cares if the phones touch screen don’t work under 30 degrees F. Wear the damn thing inside your coat against your body if it’s that cold out. Verizon had first take at the Iphone and they passed??? Can you say MORON? Verizons line up of phones are not at all good and yes sprint has them beat by a long shot!!! The only reason I would have liked to see Verizon get the Iphone over sprint is they have better coverage in northern Arizona other than that they are real premadonas. Sorry Verizon but the truth hurts!

  5. leftattforverizon

    I remember when i had ATT it sounded just like their advertisement only that the phone that didnt work was mine, my phone would hang up 60 per cent of my calls, i would be left talking to myself calls would not go through a nightmare with verizon i have maybe a dropped call here and there when I am taling to someone using the ATT network, yes i am a gaget girl and yes I get green with jealousy when someone pulls a IPhone then I think ” my phone is not that cool but I can hear my calls…hehehehhe”

  6. The iPhone is definitely a cool device. But it is also a huge marketing gimmick. It is good quality but the baggage that comes with it is quite heavy. First, it doesn’t funtion as advertised, meaning seamlessly. It only does what you want it to do about 1/4 of the time. I am sure others might disagree. I only played around with a friends iphone for a couple of days, and lets say I wasn’t impressed. Now for overall look and layout and feel I give it an A+. The whole idea is great but the functionality is so so. A great analogy (IMO) is such: THe ihpone is like the range rover (the “real” one..not the sport). IT is a beautiful car wih a great interior and great features, but the actualy mechanics of the car are questionable at best.

    Not to mention the fact that the touch screen apparently won’t work in less that 30 degrees F, and you can buy a “cheap” replacement battery or a “reasonably priced” extended battery. (nor can you replace it yourself)

  7. How Goes It

    Plain and simple, Verizon blew it.

    Come January or April next year, iPhone 2 will have 80 gig hard drive, and likely 3G. Likely also other usefull software such as spreadsheet & ability to track expenses – Quicken light.

    If Apple doesn’t let the momentum fall, the top Verizon execs will likely be gone in not too long.

    My forecast.

  8. I am a Verizon customer and have been for a good 6 years now, coming over from Cingular because of coverage problems. I did not know til now that Verizon turned down the iPhone. This news is quite shocking, being that I am a huge Mac user and knowing the quality of the products. I too think Verizon made a bad decision. Nothing they try to produce will be able to compete with Apple. It’s just not possible. So after reading this I too will be switching over for the iPhone.

  9. Nah, I think most people don’t see a lot of difference between the big networks anymore. Maybe for hard core travelers or business men who need to talk in subways total coverage is important. Verizon were idiots to pass on the iPhone. I am leaving their company so I can get one, and I am not alone. And I doubt so much that their phone will be any kind of real answer.

  10. Eleventeen

    Well I wish good luck to Verizon on that. No, really, I do.

    There’s just the nagging thought in my head that anything that is an ‘*insert Apple proudct here*-Killer’ ends up being such a close copy that it’s just infringement, or a badly kludged, over-hyped product (ahem…Zune.)

    I’m not saying that the iPhone will be the definitive phone in the market…just that historically, when it comes to directly competing with the best of Apple, it’s been a game hard lost.

  11. How so Danno?
    As someone who has traveled the country for years using 2 phones (personal and business)with Verizon Wireless and another service providers cell service, I can say the Verizon has the superior cellular network.

    Verizons position was right one (for a change). The iPhone or any other phone is only as good as the network its on.

    The only challenge that I see for Verizon is, creating a competitive answer to the iPhone.

    Verizon and other older traditional thinking companies, lack the focus to produce cutting edge products. Priorities are always to rush to market and produce revenue. This philosophy cant co-exist with producing a dominate superior technical product.

  12. Danno Bonano

    Really, it won’t be a pretty 5 years from Verizon unless Apple creates a second model that isn’t tied exclusively with one cell phone provider.