Verizon CEO Doesn't Like Price War, Hints iPhone May Come Later

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg spoke to the Wall Street Journal and discussed his company's outlook and broad roadmap. Among the things he said were:

On wireless competition, Mr. Seidenberg said the rise in prepaid $50 unlimited plans hasn't affected Verizon's higher-tier subscriber base, a vast majority of which tend to sign contracts and spend more money.

He was critical of Sprint Nextel Corp.'s decision to offer a $50 unlimited plan under its Boost brand, saying, "eventually it will self-destruct" as the need for more capital investment in the network increases.

Verizon hopes that a price war doesn't break out among the major carriers. Seidenberg would be forced to match lower unlimited prices offered by rivals. So far, the $50 plans are limited to Boost, MetroPCS, Virgin and T-Mobile (but only for long-time customers). It threatens to break through however, via T-Mobile probably (for new accounts). In that case, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T would be forced to offer comparable plans. (Boost operates on Sprint's lower-quality Nextel network.)

Mr. Seidenberg also addressed the notion of Apple Inc.'s iPhone ever coming to the Verizon Wireless network, saying it is more likely that Apple would be willing to work with the carrier under the fourth-generation, or 4G, network, which follows the same technology standard as AT&T Inc.'s 4G plans. He said Apple never seriously considered making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it didn't have as wide a distribution opportunity.

If Apple were to shun AT&T exclusivity it would potentially have access to Verizon's more than 80 million US subscribers. 

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Related: Verizon's web-enabled landline "Hub" gets an apps store (of sorts). On the wireless side, the announced carrier apps stores (AT&T, Verizon) will largely be failures unless they seek to address the feature phone or low-end smartphone segments that may be neglected otherwise or they represent simply another distribution vehicle for apps developed for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, WinMo, etc.