Verizon CEO and chairman Ivan Seidenberg told Britain’s Financial Times that he doesn’t regard Apple’s iPhone as having much chance of success at its new $200 price point.
While describing Apple as a “great company”, Mr Seidenberg highlights its small market share of global handset sales. He scoffs at suggestions that the iPhone is about to become a mass-market handset because Apple has accepted mobile operators’ pleas to subsidise it.
That list that does not, of course, include Verizon Communications.
“In the long term, my view is that we’re the hunter. That’s the way I see it, and I’m trying to develop a new generation of hunters.”
The most striking fact about his remarks for me was a feeling that I’ve heard them before: it’s the same talk we heard before the iPhone stormed the fancier smartphone segment. Take, for example, Palm CEO Ed Colligan, who mocked Apple as “PC guys” with no hope of being able to “walk in” on his company’s turf. And now Seidenberg mocks it because it hasn’t “earned” its place on the field.
Earn what from who? Two years on, and cellular carriers still see their market – subscribers and equipment manufacturers alike – as things to which they are entitled.