See Ya in Line Outside the Midtown Apple Store Next Friday, Seidenberg …
Was it Sun Tzu who said, “If 19 million Americans say they want to buy your opponent’s iPhone sight unseen, feign confidence and hope to God that they are Sprint and not Verizon subscribers?” Or is that precept found only in the “Art of War” edition annotated and self-published by Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg? Because Seidenberg doesn’t appear particularly bothered by AT&T’s claim that it has received a
billion million inquiries about the iPhone–40% from non-AT&T wireless customers.
Nor does he seem unsettled by estimates from some analysts that Verizon Wireless could lose 1 million customers on the heels of the iPhone launch. “We think we’re the premier wireless carrier. … What the Apple iPhone will do is add a lot of excitement and stimulation to the entire space,” Seidenberg said during a news conference at NXTcomm, the telecommunications industry’s annual show. “If we’ve done our job the way we think we have, then we’ll be a beneficiary in a very different way. I’m actually hoping that the iPhone does reasonably well. … We need to let iPhone hit the market and see what then reaction is. It doesn’t change our game plan. The burden is on [AT&T and Apple] to see if the market will change.”
OK–fair point. But what if it does change? What if Apple does manage to sell 10 million handsets globally by the end of 2008? What then? Pray AT&T’s rumored five-year exclusivity agreement with Apple falls through? Not to worry, said Seidenberg, “We have a bunch of devices introduced that we think customers will be interested in.”
And, um, what are those devices again?