But let’s take this for what it REALLY is. This is just Verizon trying to get leverage in its negotiations with Apple for the iPad and iPhone.
Think about it. There is ZERO reason for Google and Verizon to pre-announce a tablet collaboration, likely several months before anything is available for purchase. There is only downside from something like that — delays, other disappointments, etc. (Who’s going to make it, anyway? HTC? JooJoo?) Look what happened to Microsoft when everyone found out its “Courier” tablet was just a design mockup.
Meanwhile, there is EVERY reason for Verizon to make it look like it’s doing something threatening to Apple.
There’s been chatter for more than a year about Apple and Verizon working together on gadgets, and it looks like Apple’s long, exclusive relationship with Verizon’s archrival AT&T will be coming to a close in a matter of months.
So now would be a logical time for Apple and Verizon to be in negotiations over the iPhone and iPad. Obviously, each side wants to get the best terms on everything from wholesale pricing to promotional opportunities to search engine revenue sharing.
And that explains how we could see an article like this — a Verizon executive giving the WSJ a story to get more leverage in his negotiations with Apple. Verizon is just playing Google to get Steve Jobs to hand over the iPhone and iPad on favourable terms.
To be sure, it’s possible that talks with Apple and Verizon have completely broken down, and that Verizon really is aligning itself with Google for an all-out war. Its Android-powered phones have certainly performed well enough that Verizon doesn’t need the iPhone as much as it used to. You could make a good argument that Apple even needs Verizon more now than Verizon needs Apple.
But to us, this just smells like the latest in a long series of leaks from Verizon Wireless aimed at messing with the competition and getting the upper hand in negotiations. (And messing with consumers, who may delay a purchase of anything from AT&T to hold out for a Verizon gadget.)
Don’t be surprised if the iPhone — and maybe even the iPad — goes on sale with Verizon service before a Google tablet even hits the market.
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