The Men Behind the Apple-Verizon Deal

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It wasn’t Steve Jobs and Ivan Seidenberg that worked out the details of the Apple-Verizon iPhone deal. It was Apple COO Tim Cook and Verizon President Lowell McAdam. 

In 2010, at last, these two Apple and Verizon executives worked out the details, according to Bloomberg-Businessweek on Wednesday. Once the technical details were worked out, the rest came fairly easy. “We said over the last three or four years that the business interests would come together,” Mr. McAdam told BW. But many observers, all along, fueled by the rocky relationship between the respective CEOs, thought it would never happen because of Verizon’s previous policies in dealing with handset makers.

However, in the end, only Apple’s name appears on the Verizon iPhone and Verizon doesn’t load any of it’s own apps. The booming success of the Apple-AT&T relationship seems to have influenced Verizon’s McAdam.

In addition to building cell towers on Apple’s campus for testing, the two companies reached an even more remarkable agreement: swapping information about each other’s plans. “We had to share with them where we were going with our network and they had to share with us what they were planning for devices,” Mr. McAdam said.

Most analysts believed that it was in the financial and strategic interests of the two companies to eventually work together, even as they argued over which company needed the other the most. Fortunately, the two companies found both common ground and the right two men to make it work.

In fact, this may have been one of the major, challenging assignments in Mr. Cook’s path to become future Apple CEO. He passed with flying colors.

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Comments

Nemo

It was very wise of Verizon and Apple to move the negotiations to two senior executives who didn’t have any unpleasant history, as Steve and Ivan had, and who weren’t stuck in their prior positions.

RonMacGuy

Also, showing success managed by people other than Steve Jobs may help satisfy investors of the post-Jobs Apple future.

mouring

Just feel strange.. Apple is effectively releasing an iPhone 4.5 for Verizon.. Then will turn around and offer an iPhone 5 three to four months later?  Or is this a pre-announce to the fact that the iPhone 5 will support GSM/CDMA?

mhikl

Or is this a pre-announce to the fact that the iPhone 5 will support GSM/CDMA?

Is this possible? I should think this a practical idea were it so, mouring.

Ross Edwards

@mouring,
It’s entirely possible the VZ iPhone 5 will be on LTE.  It could appear later this year if it did… ATT might be ready to go with a 4G HSPA iPhone in June, but VZ is taking their time with 4G LTE and might not be.  (You’ll observe they are only placing data-only implementations on LTE at first, and will move into smartphones with new Droids later.  The last thing they need is to prematurely shift too much consumption to LTE before it’s ready, and have the public say their new flagship network is a dud.  They won’t take that risk.) 

As they say, a late product is only late until it ships, but a bad product is bad forever.  The LTE VZ iPhone won’t be long in coming, but it might not show up with Apple’s yearly refresh either.  Either way, there is enough pent-up demand among VZ subscribers for ANY iPhone that a 3G CDMA iPhone 4 should still sell to the limits of capacity.

Hagen

Point of order:  Verizon and its predecessors have had a cell phone tower on top of Infinite Loop for as long as there’s been an Infinite Loop—long before Apple expressed any interest in cell phones.  Any potential testing was easy: it was already there.

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