Report: Verizon Rejected iPhone
January 29, 2007 at 1:21 PM (PT)
VERIZON WIRELESS apparently had first dibs on APPLE's iPHONE two years ago but passed on the chance to be the exclusive distributor because it did not agree with several of the terms, USA TODAY reports. CINGULAR is now the exclusive distributor.
VERIZON VP JIM GERACE tells the newspaper that APPLE wanted a percentage of the monthly cell-phone fees and control over the product's customers and how and where iPHONES could be sold. "We said no," GERACE said. "We have nothing bad to say about the APPLE iPHONE. We just couldn't reach a deal that was mutually beneficial."
GERACE points out that a potential deal might have kept the iPHONE out of WAL-MART, BEST BUY, and other VERIZON distributors ("That would have put our own distribution partners at a disadvantage" to APPLE and VERIZON stores, GERACE said) and it also might have hurt customer service ("[APPLE] would have been stepping in between us and our customers to the point where we would have almost had to take a back seat on hardware and service support," GERACE said).
APPLE spokeswoman NATALIE KERRIS declined comment to USA TODAY, while CINGULAR spokesman MARK SIEGEL said his company will be taking customer calls related to the iPHONE. "I don't want to leave the impression that these customers are not ours," he said. "They are."
SIEGEL would not say whether CINGULAR distributors, which include WAL-MART and RADIOSHACK, would sell the iPHONE.