Verizon: Apple's iPhone made us think different about mobile apps, data [telecom]

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Verizon: Apple's iPhone made us think different about mobile apps, data

By Daniel Eran Dilger
July 22, 2010

Years after Verizon Wireless shunned Apple's iPhone because it wanted
more control over the device, a company representative has
acknowledged that the iPhone App Store was a "watershed" event in the
mobile industry.

At the January 2007 introduction of the original iPhone, Verizon
executive Jim Gerace told USA Today that his company has passed up
the opportunity to parter with Apple because the two companies could
not agree on a variety of issues.

At stake in the negotiations were retail distribution issues (Apple
initially didn't want to sell the iPhone through WalMart and Best
Buy), customer support handling (Apple wanted to support device
issues through AppleCare), and the reinstallation of Verizon software
and store elements.

Verizon had already been operating its "GetItNow" store as a way to
sell its wireless subscribers ringtones and rental apps, most of
which were built using Qualcomm's BREW, a proprietary mobile
development platform cousin of JavaME. Apple had no interest in
supporting BREW or Java on the iPhone.

Apple also wanted to integrate the iPhone with its iTunes Store just
as it had with the iPod, and arguably intended from the beginning to
launch its own App Store of software as well, although many pundits
insist that the company didn't even conceive the concept of third
party software until shortly before the launch of iPhone 2.0, as if
the entire iOS software platform were simply a reaction to
developers' lack of enthusiasm for web apps.

In the three years since the iPhone's launch--and two years after the
unveiling of the iPhone App Store--Verizon is now admitting that it
misjudged the opportunity it had passed up with Apple. In April,
Verizon's chief executive Ivan Seidenberg said he informed Apple that
his company would like to carry the iPhone, and alluded to talk that
Apple was working on a handset compatible with the carrier's network

Verizon is now admitting that Apple's entry into the mobile phone
market has indelibly rewritten the rules of the cellular phone
industry in such a way that has even forced carriers who don't sell
the iPhone to think differently about how they accommodate
independent software stores and how they sell and allocate data


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