At a Council of Foreign Relations event in New York, Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Verizon Communications, spoke to Alan S. Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, Wall Street Journal. He touched upon various topics including the iPad and the iPhone. His comments on the iPhone were pretty telling — revealing a kind of wistfulness.
“In our view, over time, is that as the devices come to a common architecture, we would be eligible for Apple to consider putting their devices on our network. It’s their shot, their call,” he said. “We’re open to doing it. eventually our view is we’ll get to carry the Apple standard when Apple’s ready to make that decision. We have expressed to Apple an interest in doing it; we have explained that our network is capable of handling it. But those of you who read about Apple — a great company, they operate on their own frequency.”
His comments about the iPad were very telling as well.
But here’s the thing about the iPad that’s very interesting. So we look at it as a fourth screen. So you got your TV; you got your mobile device, right; you got your PC; and now you got a fourth screen. So it’s not clear that those four could become three, or those four could become five, but at this point it’s another screen in the marketplace. Now, the interesting thing about the iPad, from how Verizon looks at it– from a network person, first of all, it has no hard drive, right. It’s got flash memory. So that doesn’t mean anything to you, but it means a lot. It means they can produce a lower-cost device for the technology they put in, and the battery will last longer.
Seidenberg also discussed net neutrality and the gulf between Silicon Valley and the phone companies. He also discusses the newfound kinship with Google.
So if you look at Silicon Valley, they’re view was anything that Verizon, or AT&T, or any of the carriers did was an encroachment on the software business. So the best thing is to come up with a strategy that defines “network” and segments it away from software, and therefore you create a whole argument around Net neutrality. What we know is that the technology is not that easy to separate. Things are more integrated.
Here is the interview: I recommend you watch it.