Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Verizon and iPhone: Deal or no deal?
Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer John Killian had a lot to say about how well his company’s smartphone and data business is doing, but skirted the elephant in the room at the Reuters Global Technology Summit: Is his company going to strike an iPhone deal with Apple?
Killian refused to comment on whether Verizon is talking to Apple about selling the iPhone once rival AT&T’s exclusive contract with the iPhone maker ends next year.
“Our PDA, smartphone and data business is growing incredibly nicely,” Killian said. “Our strategy is to have multiple devices. I’m not going to comment on Apple or the iPhone, but… we don’t feel we’re going to be at a market disadvantage in the PDA space as we go through today or 2009.”
So, no iPhone deal, then? Again, Killian avoided answering directly.
“We have a range of different devices with different manufacturers, and we’re continuing to evolve that. We’re going to have a series of introductions this year, we’re not dependent on any one vendor.”
But surely, Verizon must miss the publicity that all things iPhone get? After all, the iPhone — and Apple products in general — seem to drive people into paroxysms of delight, especially at trade shows like CES and CTIA. Does Verizon not feel the pressure to do something big and showy?
Killian’s response: “I don’t want buzz, I want volumes, cash flow, profitability. I want things that allow us to do that and I think our lineup is allowing us to do that.”
Spoken like a true CFO.