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Does Verizon Wireless want Apple's iPhone, or does the iPhone want Verizon Wireless?
Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, pointing to his firm's strong wireless network infrastructure, said Monday that he hopes Apple "will decide to jump on the bandwagonthis is a decision that is exclusively in Apple's court."
The issue takes on more resonance after AT&T signed up some 2 million wireless subscribers in its last reported quarter compared to Verizon's 1.2 million new customers. But AT&T has been victimized by its own success. Its exclusive deal with Apple to market the iPhone in the U.S., is straining AT&T's network because of the high rates of data usage by iPhone subscribers.
Asked about the iPhone after Verizon Communications , which reported its third quarter financials on Monday, Seidenberg noted that the carrier's fleet of mobile phones is growing apace and added: "We obviously would be interested at any point in the future they (Apple) thought it would make sense for them to have us as a partnerWhat they have done has been successful, so we have to sit back and give them credit for that." Seidenberg made his remarks in a meeting with analysts after the financial report was issued.
At the same time, the FCC and Congress have questioned exclusive mobile phone deals between manufacturers and carriers and have singled out the Apple-AT&T arrangement for particular scrutiny. Apple could be forced by regulators to offer the wildly successful iPhone to at least one additional carrier.
Verizon's robust network infrastructure and particularly its pending LTE network could be just the thing for the data-intensive iPhone. Seidenberg indicated that Verizon Wireless has positioned its network to handle heavy smartphone usage by preparing it for its "really strong BlackBerry lineup" as well as for new Android-based phones that are due to be released soon.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has already sounded the alarm about a spectrum crisis that is looming as more and more smartphones gobble up precious network bandwidth.
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