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Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead.  (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Big Red iPhone 4 launch could have lower-than-expected impact on carrier

Newly appointed Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead spoke with The Wall Street Journal recently about his vision for the future of his company and the wireless industry, which includes the possibility of "metered pricing" for data, and a shared-data family plan option.

"We have not moved in terms of unlimited for consumers in the $30 price point. Some day we may consider metered pricing. We haven't made any final decisions there yet," Mead, who took over as CEO in October, told WSJ.

When asked whether he would consider family plan pricing for data, Mead responded, "We've shared voice minutes and text messages for the family. I think it's fully in the realm of possibility in the not-to-distant future to be able to start thinking through the options ... That's a vehicle to get there." He called it "account-level pricing."

Throughout the interview, Mead talked about LTE ("It is a very practical and encouraging substitution for DSL, particularly when you look at rural markets.") and the future of mobile devices ("I think the world for the next few years is going to be more around tablets and smartphones.") He also mentioned that he felt as if Verizon was hitting "another growth spurt" and was thinking about 300- to-400-percent market penetration (meaning three to four devices per person).

Meanwhile, according to new sales numbers released by ITG Investment Research, Android demolished RIM's Blackberry sales at Verizon over the last year. In October 2009, RIM's smartphone share of Verizon sales peaked at above 90 percent. Since the launch of multiple Android phones from the likes of HTC, Motorola, and Samsung, RIM's share has plummeted to just 19 percent. Devices powered by the Android OS now make up 80 percent of all smartphones sold at Verizon, which does not bode well for RIM.

"The [RIM] decline is led by the lack of a Storm refresh, dwindling sales of the Tour/Bold series, and a failure of the new Curve 3G to yet replace diminishing sales of the Curve 8530," an ITG representative said. 

But LTE and iPhone 4 speculation could actually hurt Verizon in the busy holiday season. ITG expects it to be a slow one, "owing to an expected launch of the iPhone and 4G LTE handsets" in the coming months. Potential shoppers could be holding out for the newer devices set to launch in the first quarter of 2011.

And the new sales numbers show that if an iPhone 4 is released on Verizon's network next year, it could have a low impact compared to what analysts previously predicted. The devices that perform best are the ones that are frequently being rolled out and refreshed, as evidenced by the figures, than those that are static and see yearly refreshes. This approach is evident in the recent success of Motorola, which has steadily rolled out updated Android phones.

"Given the fact that the two latter smartphones [Motorola Etna and HTC Droid Incredibly HD] will connect to Verizon Wireless' new LTE network, and the fact that quite a few Apple fans will wait for the iPhone 5, we think the iPhone 4 would primarily cater to those who are currently buying mid-range smartphones such as the LG Vortex," the folks over at InfoSync write. This prediction is bolstered by the fact that Steve Jobs recently told investors the iPhone would see slimmer margins moving forward.


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No duh
By bob dole on 12/13/2010 11:03:19 AM , Rating: 1
iPhone and Android are like Cell and Gohan. iPhone thinks it’s the epitome of perfection, while Android has tremendous hidden power.

Blackberry is like Vegeta, its cocky, talks a lot of smack, thinks of himself as the greatest, but gets demolished and thrown by the wayside when Cell and Gohan battle.

Nokia is like Goku, at one point was the most powerful, but has been surpassed by Cell and Gohan. He’ll end up dying in for no reason in some futile attempt to beat Cell.




RE: No duh
By Chris Peredun on 12/13/2010 11:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Android has tremendous hidden power


Naturally. The model number for the Samsung Galaxy S is the i 9000 .

(I'm sure everyone knows where I'm going with this one.)


RE: No duh
By dayanth on 12/13/2010 12:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
that's not powerful enough, until the model number is over 9000...


RE: No duh
By Tony Swash on 12/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: No duh
By amanojaku on 12/13/2010 2:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point of the article was to show Verizon ISN'T desperate to get the iPhone because the iPhone would do little to improve Verizon's sales. That's what Android is doing, and it's doing that better than the iPhone can. You also, leave out, conveniently, the fact that Android is sold from multiple carriers, forcing Verizon to take in a fraction of the Android revenue. Once Apple spreads the iPhone around AT&T will see a quick erosion in profit.


RE: No duh
By Tony Swash on 12/13/2010 5:31:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think the point of the article was to show Verizon ISN'T desperate to get the iPhone because the iPhone would do little to improve Verizon's sales.


I fear we are reading different articles. Did you perhaps read this paragraph?

"By 2009, Verizon was probably optimistic that they could head off AT&T (and Apple) at the pass. With the vast array of vendor Android roadmaps laid out in front of them they saw a way to stem the flood of defections. I think that optimism dissipated sometime this year and was replaced by a more dreadful prospect than what iPhone presented in 2007.

It is perhaps coincidental that the rumors of a Verizon deal with Apple seem to have started in earnest right after August. It’s thin, circumstantial evidence, but the only evidence we have to corroborate the data above is that Verizon has been signaling more desperation.

Reading further into the data, I would say Verizon faced these problems and decided that they had to throw in the towel. Apple may be the devil, but so could be Google. Apple was predictably evil. But Google? The devil you know is perhaps better than the one you can’t predict."


quote:
Once Apple spreads the iPhone around AT&T will see a quick erosion in profit.


But not Apple's profits. When the iPhone is spread around in the US the game will change again. What fun.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad














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