Verizon's CEO Opens Up About Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs at D8

Photo: Asa Mathat, All Things Digital

Fortune is the latest to report the iPhone is coming to Verizon next year. It reports this nugget at the top of a big profile of Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.While Seidenberg doesn’t confirm (on the record) the iPhone is coming to Verizon, he does open up about Verizon’s negotiations with Apple through the years. Here’s how it went down:

  • In 2005, Apple approached Verizon about carrying the iPhone. Verizon balked at giving Apple so much control.
  • In 2007, just before the iPhone launched, Seidenberg went to Apple’s HQ and asked Steve Jobs, “Why are we in your doghouse here?” (The two companies hadn’t spoken since Verizon balked at Apple’s terms in 2005.)
  • Fortune suggests Apple didn’t want a phone that was CDMA, because it couldn’t sell it around the world. This is why Verizon was in the “doghouse.”
  • In December 2007, after the iPhone was on the market, but customers were complaining about shoddy service, Lowell McAdam, CEO Verizon Wireless called up Jobs and said, “We really ought to talk about how we do business together. We weren’t able to [reach an agreement] a couple of years before, but it’s probably worth having another discussion to make sure we’re not missing something.” Job’s reportedly said, “Yeah, you’re probably right. We have missed something.”
  • Three years later the companies are finally working together. The iPad is in Verizon stores, and the iPhone will hit next year.
  • Seidenberg also says Jobs respects Verizon, telling him in December 2009, “Decisions you made [at Verizon] are decisions we would make at Apple.”

We wonder how AT&T feels about that last quote.

See Also: If AT&T Is So Bad, Why Is It Beating Verizon Every Quarter?

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