It’s Not Easy Dealing with Apple: Verizon iPhone Details Revealed

Dealing with Apple is not easy. Verizon and the folks at Cupertino finally came to agreement four long years after the iPhone originally launched in 2007. Usually when it comes to selling the iPhone, Apple’s terms dictate the deal. Here in Canada, our ‘Big 3’ carriers (Rogers, Telus, Bell) haven’t had any issues with carrying the iPhone (other than keeping stock levels). Rogers was the first Canadian carrier to sell the iPhone 3G.

Business Week reveals some nitty gritty details about just what was involved in the whole Verizon/Apple saga. Over the course of years, a rumoured Verizon iPhone 4 finally came into fruition. What was involved to seal the deal?

“We said over the last three or four years that the business interests would come together — and they did,” McAdam

Cell Towers

The companies erected Verizon cellular towers at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters to check the phone’s signal and avoid the reliability troubles of the iPhone at AT&T. The two sides also had to agree to swap inside information about future products.

“We had to share with them where we were going with our network and they had to share with us what they were planning for devices,” said McAdam, 56. “That’s when we said, ‘Yes, this should work.’”

One of Verizon Wireless’s top engineers — David McCarley, its executive director of technology — worked on Apple’s campus for more than a year. He helped Apple understand its CDMA technology, McAdam said. Apple was given “their own laboratory to play with,” he said.

McAdam, who has worked at Verizon since it was formed in 2000, also personally used the iPhone ahead of yesterday’s announcement.

Branding Issue

To reach a deal, Apple and Verizon had to reconcile different approaches to branding. Verizon puts its stamp on other manufacturers’ devices, including phones from Research In Motion Ltd. and Motorola. By contrast, only Apple’s name appears on the iPhone.

“They don’t put a lot of logos on their phones,” McAdam said in the interview. “So that wasn’t a major issue for us.”

The details are very interesting. I’m glad Apple has turned the carrier industry on its head. Gone are the days of carrier-branded phones and pre-installed software as Apple doesn’t allow that on the iPhone.

I can imagine how it would be when Apple travels up to Canada to deal with our carriers when it comes to the iPhone. Do you think Apple will actually listen to any concessions that come from Rogers, Bell, or Telus? iPhone meetings probably go down something like this:

Apple convoy shows up at individual head offices of the ‘Big 3’ Canadian carriers.

Apple: “Here’s the new iPhone X. Sign here if you want it.”

Rogers, Bell, Telus: *signs without saying a word*

Apple entourage leaves.

As for us in Canada, we’re patiently waiting for iOS 4.3 to drop so we can use the new Personal Hotspot feature.

[Business Week]