Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg ducked a question about if--or when--Verizon Wireless would launch a version of Apple's iPhone and also did not directly answer whether the carrier would launch an Android phone before the end of the year.
In an interview on the "Charlie Rose" program last night, Seidenberg said that it still up in the air whether or not Verizon will launch the iPhone. He said the device, which is offered exclusively through AT&T Mobility in the United States, "made smart phones important, or more important." Seidenberg said it would be Apple's decision whether or not to make a version of the iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon's LTE network, which the carrier will launch in 20 to 30 commercial markets next year.
The chief executive also was careful to watch his words when talking about a report in The Wall Street Journal that said Verizon would launch a Motorola-made smartphone running on Google's Android platform before the end of the year, and said only that "it might be true."
Seidenberg praised Google's expertise with the Internet and said the more success Google has, the greater demand there will be for data services and applications. However, he noted Google provides services like search that wireless carriers either offer or would want to get into, and that this might create tension.
"They also like to provide services that in effect sometimes compete with the things that we do," Seidenberg said. "They're on the right side of most of the things that are important to us in terms of growing the business, and the places where we compete, you know, we're big boys, they're big boys, we'll talk about it when we need to."
- see this WSJ blog post (sub. req.)
- watch the interview
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