Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg delivered a mixed message concerning the iPhone on Monday. In his company's quarterly conference call with analysts, Mr. Seidenberg saluted Apple's success with the iPhone, even while suggesting that his company's goal of offering choice to customers was the better route. He also made it clear that his company was still interested in carrying the device.
Writing for The Wall Street Journal's blogs, Andrew LaVallee reported that Mr. Seidenberg said, "We obviously would be interested at any point in the future they thought it would make sense for them to have us as a partner. And so we will leave it with them on that score."
On the positive side, he noted that, "What [Apple has] done has been successful, so we have to sit back and give them credit for that."
This is an acknowledgement that Apple's decision to form exclusive partnerships with a single carrier -- AT&T in the case of the U.S. -- hasn't kept the company from gaining significant market share in the smart phone market. Some industry observers had predicted that the iPhone would find a limited audience with just one carrier, while today many analysts have said that Apple could see significant growth of its platform if it were to end the exclusivity agreement with AT&T.
What's interesting is that Mr. Seidenberg then followed that statement up with one that effectively condemned the same approach he had just praised, saying, "Our view is to broaden the base of choice for customers, and hopefully along the way, Apple, as well as others, will decide to jump on the bandwagon."
Other tidbits from the conference call include the news that Verizon will be opening its own app store for smart phones in 2010.