Verizon Wireless has stepped up its ad campaign against the iPhone and its exclusive carrier, Verizon’s archrival AT&T. But don’t think for a second that means Apple wouldn’t sell its iPhone at Verizon — the top U.S. wireless carrier with almost 90 million subscribers — as soon as next year.
For a sense of how business rivals become friendly — even when Steve Jobs is involved — look no further than Apple’s relationship with chip giant Intel.
Apple ran anti-Intel ads for months — remember the snail with the Intel chip on its back, or the “Toasted Bunnies” spot? — but later gave Intel all of its Mac business when it made sense to do so. Jobs even got Intel CEO Paul Otellini to walk out on stage in a chip technician’s “bunny” suit at Macworld 2006.
The same could happen with Verizon Wireless. While Verizon now looks dumb for turning down Apple’s offer to be the iPhone’s launch partner, it’s now smart enough to realise that it would be great idea to sell the iPhone. And as Steve Jobs surely knows, there are millions of extra iPhones to be sold — for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and profits — if Apple were to expand its carrier relationships in the U.S., especially to Verizon.
Meanwhile, Verizon has to do something, and in the mobile industry these days, that means competing with the iPhone. Here’s Verizon’s latest anti-AT&T/iPhone spot, “Island of Misfit Toys.”