Verizon CEO says that the carrier never had a shot at the original Apple iPhone

Verizon CEO says that the carrier never had a shot at the original Apple iPhone
We all know the myth. Steve Jobs and his gang come over to Verizon carrying with them a prototype of the iPhone. While Big Red executives like the product, they feel that Jobs is asking for too much control over billing, so Verizon says no and the Apple gang move over to AT&T. The rest is history.

It's a great story and one that seems perfectly believable except for one little, minute detail. It never happened. According to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Apple was concentrating on GSM technology with the first iPhone and thus, Verizon was not considered for Apple's first-generation touchscreen handset.

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose (who spoke with Seidenberg in June 2009 as we recently reported in our nostalgic look back at phoneArena's coverage of rumors about a Verizon branded Apple iPhone), the Verizon CEO said that Apple had wanted one carrier to carry the new device in every major market, and since the Cupertino based firm had been focusing on GSM, the firm chose AT&T. As Apple started expanding the iPhone to multiple carriers in other countries, Verizon and Apple returned to the bargaining table.

As for who started the recent talks that led to the Verizon iPhone, Big Red's top executive said that he had called Steve Jobs and gone out to visit him. Said Seidenberg, "We consciously reached out to them more than once. This was the view that we had that...eventually their interests would align with ours." He also made an interesting statement when he called the Apple-Verizon partnership a strategic one considering that Verizon is further along in 4G than other carriers (we are not sure that Sprint or T-Mobile would agree).

As for those Verizon customers who worry that the carrier will start to focus on the iPhone to the exclusion of other products, Seidenberg's comment left no doubt that there should be no worries in that department. "We're going to continue to do a great job on the BlackBerry and a great job on the Droid," the CEO stated.

source: AppleInsider

Related phones

iPhone 4 Verizon
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h talk time)



1. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Verizon further along 4G than Sprint or T-Mobile? Steve Jobs just LOVES to get it wrong, doesn't he? Remember he also said they selected AT&T for the fastest, most capable network, we all know how well that went.

4. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

The statement of verizon's 4G being further along was made by Seidenberg not Jobs. The paragraph quotes the vzw CEO and then makes further comments, followed by the paraphrase of his statement on vzw's 4G. If the writer was quoting jobs he would have had to state that jobs said it. Read it again with that in mind and you'll come out with a different view. It's basic journalism. Also if you need further convincing, the article states that this all came from an interview with Seidenberg.

45. taylor unregistered

Just an fyi, no one has a 4g network.. the basis of having one is a connection speed of over 100 megabits. and Wimax not really a good 4g network running on 2.5 gigaherts spectrum and t-mobile HSPA+ is just a faster 3g network. Verizon 4g LTE (Long term evolution) is at 5-12 megabits with the long term ability to reach 100 megs. Get your facts straight

46. vzwservesmewell

Posts: 29; Member since: May 05, 2010

To add/correct to Taylor's rant, VZW's LTE Network is a TRUE 4th Generation technology whether or not it's operating at its potential top speeds or not. WiMax is a 4G technology too, just not one that will be around in the future.. HSPA+ is like 3.5G. It's an enhancement to GSM's 3G and a way for carriers like T-Mobile and ATT to buy some time... In conclusion, since VZW is the only company with an LTE network rolling out, and because LTE will be the future Global standard as far as anyone can tell, VZW is in fact further along in their 4G roll out... That's the way I see it anyway

2. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Verizon will focus on whatever people want to buy. If most folks want the iPhone then Verizon will push the iPhone. If the trend continues to Android, then Verizon will continue what they've been doing of course in the respect of their partners. But if they want me to believe that they are going to push RIM...I've got an lol for them. You don't try and sell a dead horse of no one is in the market for dead horses.

5. shellnick2003

Posts: 17; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

I know that made me chuckle as well. LOL.

12. horsemeat unregistered

horsemeat is making a comeback!

16. stilt

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 13, 2008

DROIDS are tens times better than the iphone in many ways, i could name all of them but i'll just throw this one out there ADOBE FLASH PLAYER 10.1 and better coming soon. iphone nada nice device, pretty, very very very revolutionary, but no droids and android OS all together has technology wise killed the iphone, oh yeah the iphone has all the hype hype hype but if you just own a android OS or motorola droid product everyone one would feel exactly how I do, Steve Jobs saw what the androids were better deep inside himself and now agrees to throw his product into VZW lineup cause he know droids are slaughtering. He will never admit that and non of the iphone fans either but its there. try to watch a tv episode that you missed or forgot to record when it aired, and go to a iphone and try to go to the network website to see full episodes offerings for free, it will say adobe flash 10.1 is needed to view video then you'll just have to wait until it airs again once sindication starts lol that just one example of a iphone failure,, need i say death grip lmao

24. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Is that why Verizon went to Steve Jobs asking for the iPhone? You seem to have a reading comprehension problem.

27. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Um...what just happened? I just said Verizon will push whatever makes them money. I never said any one phone was better than the other. How did this turn into yet another Apple Vs. Google conversation? If I was dissing anything, it would be RIM... What happened to reading comprehension in school? ...Oh and about Flash...all the sites I go to have been converted to HTML5...which works on Android, iOS, and Palm without a plugin...jussayin.

42. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

the Blackberry comment may be in regard to the business customer base. though a lot seem to be interested in the features of the Droid/iPhone but they still prefer Blackberry as a device. i sell a huge amount of BB Bolds to business customers. businesses realize Android & iOs will do corp. functions but still prefer the Blackberry set up. i wouldnt exactly call it a "dead horse"...its not like we're talkin about nokia here.

48. vzwservesmewell

Posts: 29; Member since: May 05, 2010

Maybe not a Dead horse but definitely cancerous... It will be a slow decline for RIM but a decline nonetheless, unless innovation re-invigorates them. Remember Nextel? I realize its not a fair comparison but Nextel was a company whose subscriber base was majority business and as consumer interest dwindled their business subscribers slowly but surely followed suit...which was to leave iDEN for something better. As I said before, unless RIM gets innovative, the same will happen because ultimately your businesses are made up of those same consumers who will be begging their bosses and MIS peeps to get on board with the latest and greatest...

47. vzwservesmewell

Posts: 29; Member since: May 05, 2010

JeffdaBeat, you are so right. RIM really came too little too late with 6.0. I heard a really funny story that involved some big RIM representatives and an owner with a large Indirect Verizon Agent where the RIM reps were wondering why they weren't selling their phones and then demonstrating 6.0 in the Torch were literally laughed at... It's actually surprising how they are letting this market slide away from them.. not surprising that it is. They also need to take a lesson from "The Social Network" movie and not under estimate the value of "Cool"

3. Ashnnat

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

I can almost buy, except for one minuscule detail that doesn't make sense: If Apple realy wanted iPhone to be GSM from the beggining, then why they are going backwards with a CDMA model? Would'nt made much more sense to go with LTE iPhone? Sorry Ivan and Steve-O, but I'm not buying it. Not that it matter$, of cour$e, what I, phonearena, or anyone el$e already waiting in line think$.

7. shellnick2003

Posts: 17; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

It was prolly b/c of the demand for an iPhone on Verizon. They will prolly release a LTE iPhone sometime after everyone has spent their pretty pennies on the CDMA iPhone, just to make more money off the customers.

8. JohnBFTL unregistered

Backwards with a CDMA model? CDMA is a far more advanced technology than GSM. The reason GSM is so widely used throughout the world is because it is so much cheaper to develop than CDMA. It may not be as versitile when traveling abroad, but in terms of ability, CDMA is a way superior radio signal.

9. Ashnnat

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

That might be true or not true. But when I say backwards is because most of the industry, including Verizon themselves, is moving towards LTE 4G tech.

11. JohnBFTL unregistered

LTE is not a voice technology though. It's like UMTS or HSPA/HSPA+. It covers the data network. The reason people assume GSM is better in terms of boasting simultaneous voice and data capabilities is because the GSM is conducting the voice frequency while the UMTS or HSPA/HSPA+ is conducting data transfer, where as CDMA2000 conducts both. Try going on the web while connected to EDGE. It won't work because that is relying on the GSM network. The reason Verizon is releasing a non-LTE iPhone is because Apple would have to completely redesign the hardware for the phone. That would take too long. It's a business, not a charity. They don't care about you.

13. horsemeat unregistered

yeah JohnBFTL!!!!

14. JeffdaBeat unregistered

And one thing people tend to forget is that an LTE phone still has to have a calling network to back it up in the case that LTE isn't available. Until everything is VoIP, you are going to have hybrid phones LTE/CDMA or LTE/GSM.

21. Ashnnat

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

"They don't care about you." Exactly my whole point.

37. bakr unregistered

LTE will support voice when Verizon changes to VOIP for voice services.

36. JDraper unregistered

CDMA is not a superior radio signal. CDMA is the combination of digital for data and analog for voice. It is the analog that allows companies like Verizon and Sprint to offer coverage in the back end parts of the country. CDMA can only evolve so far as a technology where GSM is still in its infancy. GSM also has the capability to produce Voice and Data at the same time while CDMA makes you choose. CDMA relies on those old analog signals to function properly and when the FCC gets there way and turns analog off all they will have is digital to rely on and Verizon's digital footprint is almost non-exsistant to T-Mobile's or AT&T's.

38. bakr unregistered

Ummm... check your facts. The government has already ordered Verizon to shut down their analog system and Verizon complied OVER 2 YEARS AGO!

43. Gawain

Posts: 452; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

If Verizon and Sprint had migrated their 1XRTT/CDMA to EV-DV instead of EV-DO, data/voice at the same time would not be an issue. As for GSM, the only reason why AT&T or T-Mobile can offer data and voice at the same time is in their HSPA markets where the data rides a separate frequency altogether. It's not some magic technological miracle. It's two radios working at the same time. CDMA is not an analog signal, it is a code-based, spread spectrum digital technology that uses spectrum more efficiently than GSM, more securely than GSM and provides better soft-hand-offs than GSM (which doesn't do soft-hand-offs at all). GSM is a time-divided, channel-divided technology like the old TDMA run by the "old" AT&T (McCaw markets). CDMA is a far superior standard to GSM. The reasons it isn't as far reaching in areas like western Europe has to do with laws about open-device architecture. CDMA devices are hard-coded to their carriers in most respects whereas a SIM card is all you need to make a GSM device work.

17. stilt

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 13, 2008

good point everyone is gonna jump and burn there upgrades or whatever to get a 3g cdma iphone then the iphone lte from VZW will come out or the even better htc thunderbolt, or even better motorola bionic and everyone is gonna be like "DANG I SHOULD HAVE WAITED!!" but i do feel sorry for at&t they are gonna start bashing like hell now and giving stuff away for free to stay afloat cause even people with the iphone now want it on VZW.

6. tbuchs2001 unregistered

i for one am waiting on one of the new androids, i say no to the iphone with all the newer things coming out

10. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

If you want a global splash with just one radio, GSM would have to be it. I'm just surprised it took this long for Apple to move to CDMA, whether it was contractually constrained by ATT, or whether it was technology issues, that held them up. World iPhone next with both technologies?


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

@johnBFTL: Dude CDMA superior than GSM......??? Are u on crack or what....??? Just because slow-rizon has more footpring and coverage that AT&T and other GSM carriers in the USA it doesn't mean is superior, get ur suitcase and travel outside of the trailer park that you living at and see why there isn't any CDMA carriers in Europe who are years ahead more advanced than United States in cell tech and see why HSPA is really superior than CDMA, just to set u a little example.....since 2003 when it was created 3GSM had more than 7 upgrades and still evolving to 52mbps, CDMA had only 3 revs and that's it.........!!!!!!

19. stilt

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 13, 2008

and look at the cellular usage in the US it way more usage than any other country for get the other countries millions and millions of people arent on business trips or splurging on just going out of the country rreally people other than business people dont care about talking on the phone that much cause they are wealthy they dont care about phone and crap like that young people do teenagers do phone geekds do not international, I have had people come in to buy a phone and be like so where is you global phones? then i ask the question are you going out of the country they say i might one day" huh one day if you do go out of the country use skype mobile to skype to skype which VZW only offers on smartphones, i know its fiction but look at action movies and whatnot when they are in other countries they show them using some rinky dink flip phone not a droid or iphone or windows mobile, or nothing fancy just a regular phone that just works, but then look at a american movie they are showing droids and iphones, and the fancy stuff im not saying other countries are to mediocre to want high tech, but the US which is mostly CDMA now is where the biggest and rapid sales are so stop talking about what you can do out of the country on GSM name 1000 people that you know that needs to go out of the country all the time?? CDMA is good

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless