Motorola (NYSE:MOT) co-CEO Sanjay Jha said he is not concerned about the prospect of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone coming to Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) early next year, explaining that Motorola is comfortable both with the carrier's level of support and its own competitive position.
Rumors have started swirling yet again that Verizon will launch Apple's popular smartphone early next year, but Jha was sanguine about his company's prospects. Speaking Tuesday at a technology conference sponsored by Oppenheimer, he said he is "comfortable with the dynamic that would create." AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) recently said in a regulatory filing that losing exclusive deals for handsets--like the one it has for the iPhone--will not have a materially negative impact on its wireless operations.
Verizon is Motorola's strongest carrier partner as the vendor looks to generate momentum in the smartphone market by using Google's Android platform. Indeed, Verizon recently announced Motorola's Android-powered Droid X and Droid 2 phones. Jha said "the Droid X is every bit as good as iPhone," and said he expects Verizon to continue support for its Droid franchise regardless of a possible Verizon iPhone. "It seems unnatural for them to walk away from Droid," he said. "I don't think the value we bring to Verizon becomes any less important when the iPhone is there."
Additionally, Jha said that AT&T losing its iPhone exclusivity could open up opportunities for smartphone makers like Motorola. "When the exclusivity goes away at AT&T, the motivation to have other players there is definitely going to be higher," he said.
Jha also addressed AT&T's move toward tiered, usage-based pricing for mobile data. He said he expects users will become more active in managing their data use.
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