Joe Wilcox: ‘Why Verizon Won’t Let Apple Announce iPhone’

Joe Wilcox on why Verizon didn’t announce its iPhone deal last week at CES:

It’s not that Verizon wasn’t allowed, the carrier didn’t want to take away from other new handsets on its network before they were announced — that’s the more sensible conclusion. This week Verizon announced some of the hottest Android handsets available on any US carrier — from HTC, Motorola and Samsung.

Right. And which of those phones is front-page newspaper news? Which are the ones people will line up around the block for on day one?

Verizon isn’t AT&T. The United States’ largest cellular carrier isn’t accustomed to taking crap from handset manufacturers. Verizon controls everything on its network and is quick to customize handsets with its software and services. AT&T is different, or was when Apple launched the original iPhone in June 2007. AT&T made lots of concessions to get iPhone, such as granting Apple control over the software and updates.

Does Wilcox think Verizon will have any control over the iPhone’s software and updates? Does he think there’s going to be a Verizon logo stamped on the hardware?

(To be clear, I don’t think there’s any conflict between Apple and Verizon over this announcement. I think both companies are happy to have it hosted by Verizon in New York. Why would Verizon prefer to announce it tomorrow rather than last week at CES? Easy. More publicity and attention this way. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the iPhone coming to Verizon is bigger news than all phone-related news at CES combined. Maybe even all of CES combined.)

Monday, 10 January 2011