Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Even Verizon’s Phones Won’t Comment About the Impending iPhone

Verizon Wireless showed off lots of smartphones at its CES press conference on Thursday, but naturally had nothing whatsoever to say about the iPhone, as I am sure will be the case until the day Steve Jobs shows it to the world.

Of course, I didn’t let the company’s silence stand in my way and proceeded to bug several executives, asking about it in all sorts of clever ways (okay, maybe not really that clever.). But, of course, Verizon has lots of practice carefully avoiding all mention of the iPhone or Apple, unless referring to a fruit grown in Washington.

I tried asking Chief Marketing Officer Marni Walden whether Verizon’s network will be strong enough to handle a crush of data demand from the iPhone, but she saw right through me.

“I obviously won’t comment on iPhone at all–rumor and speculation here,” she said. That said, she noted that the company has spent $65 billion over the last 10 years on its network to make sure that any device can run smoothly on it.

Okay, I said, but you know the company’s full roadmap for the year–are you sure that your network will be able to handle all those devices, including perhaps some unannounced ones?

“I am confident we have built a network and invested in a network that will continue to provide customers with the best possible experience,” Walden said.

So there you have it. Well, as much of “it” as you are going to get.

But it turns out that the party line extends beyond the employees and all the way down to the Verizon phones themselves. When handed a demo unit of the new Samsung LTE Android phone, I proceeded to do a Google search for Verizon iPhone–I got an error message saying that that page could not be reached (see image). Now that’s what I call good corporate messaging.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work