Verizon talks about negotiations with Apple on Verizon iPhone
Bloomberg sat down with Verizon President Lowell McAdam who was on stage with Tim Cook during yesterday's big Verizon iPhone announcement, and their discussion sheds some light on some of the negotiations held between Verizon and Apple that led to them finally carrying Apple's flagship smartphone. Here are some quick highlights, beginning with McAdam talking about their branding and logo missing from the device itself:
To reach a deal, Apple and Verizon had to reconcile different approaches to branding. Verizon puts its stamp on other manufacturers’ devices, including phones from Research In Motion Ltd. and Motorola. By contrast, only Apple’s name appears on the iPhone.
“They don’t put a lot of logos on their phones,” McAdam said in the interview. “So that wasn’t a major issue for us.”
Former Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassee chimed in saying that Verizon probably saw the success of the iPhone under AT&T and quickly agreed to requests from Apple on excluding carrier branding. Given the amount of crapware and branding on every other phone under Verizon, we have a feeling this was more difficult for Verizon to agree on than McAdam would like you to believe. But did they ultimately have a choice?
In addition, last year's reports of Verizon cell towers on Apple's campus turned out to be for testing the Verizon iPhone as most had assumed.
The companies erected Verizon cellular towers at Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters to check the phone's signal and avoid the reliability troubles of the iPhone at AT&T.
The most interesting thing to note, however, is that most of the negotiations took place between Apple COO Tim Cook and McAdam himself, without much input from Steve Jobs unless it was really needed. Verizon and Apple worked together for over half a year on the technical hurdles they faced before deciding the device was ready for primetime.
"We probably worked six or nine months on the technical side of this and saw we could make this work," McAdam said. "Then we did the commercial side. The commercial deal took us a day."
It's interesting to see how things played out leading up to the Verizon iPhone event on Tuesday, especially when it comes to the technical and branding issues involved. Now that it's finally here, how do you think it will sell in comparison to AT&T? Let us know in the comments!