Verizon again flubs iPhone/iPad deals? “Outbid” by AT&T to be “preferred” iPad carrier?

by Mike
Posted February 3rd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Try as they might, AT&T has been unable to improve their image as of late. They blame Apple and the iPhone. Apple *doesn’t* blame AT&T outright, instead dancing around the issue with “we’re happy of future network build out plans” verbiage that more or less means “We know they suck, hopefully they fix it”. Outside of it all, Verizon has watched AT&T enjoy record profits over the last couple of years after reportedly walking away from exclusive rights to the first gen iPhone. The rest as you all know is history.

When rumors of the iPad with 3G began circulating, Verizon was again in the center of the debate. With AT&T’s network begging for mercy on it’s one crippled leg, most thought Apple would certainly have multiple carrier deals from the get go. As we found out last week, that simply hasn’t been the case. Apple for better or worse (don’t kid yourself, it’s worse, very much worse) has stubbornly stuck with AT&T as the main carrier of choice.

After the iPad event, various sources on the internet began speculating as to whom — AT&T or Apple — was responsible for keeping this GSM partnership. One entity who is could very well be responsible though has been left out of most discussions so far is Verizon.

The current speculation behind the iPad and it’s 3G partners comes from Clayton Morris of Fox News. Mr. Morris claims that AT&T “outbid” everyone else in regards to the “cheap” 250MB and “unlimited” data plans bundled with higher-end versions of the iPad. During early negotiations, Verizon apparently “balked” at the pricing Apple suggested as he noted that VZW likes to charge roughly double the iPad 3G rates for notebooks and wireless cards. Could Verizon really be that stupid to botch yet another potential Apple device from gracing their airwaves?

Verizon hasn’t exactly been the most open or consumer friendly company. It wasn’t until recently that I would even consider them as a carrier to turn to — and then they started getting all consumer friendly. This latest rumor however may signal that the last year or so of a much “happier” Verizon was nothing more than a smokescreen. I mean, Apple isn’t stupid (stubborn, not stupid). They know that an iPad with a $60/month capped “Unlimited” data plan wouldn’t fly. So why does Verizon and other carriers still insist on charging exorbitant extra charges for such data plans?

But remember, all of this is unconfirmed for now as both Apple and Verizon haven’t commented on the accusations. AT&T meanwhile has gone ahead and simply stated that “they’re happy with Apple’s current favoring of their network”. Gee, there’s a shocker. Worries of Verizon being out of the Apple/iPhone/iPad picture for another 2-3 years aren’t quite validated just yet as Clayton Morris further states that even though there are current disagreements between the parties involved, Verizon is still in talks with Apple to bring some sort of iProduct to their CDMA airwaves. For every mobile internet users sake on an iProduct on AT&T — we can only hope.

I open the floor to you now. Do you think there was a type of “bidding war” to get access to the iPad in which Verizon once again dropped the ball? Or is it an entirely different story with Apple instead choosing AT&T again in blind/stubborn love?

MacNN > AlleyInsider

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