June 27, 2008
Some trash talk from pugnacious Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, via the FT:
While describing Apple as a "great company", Mr Seidenberg highlights its small market share of global handset sales. He scoffs at suggestions that the iPhone is about to become a mass-market handset because Apple has accepted mobile operators' pleas to subsidise it.
"There goes the conspiracy again," he says of Apple. "You're declaring them a winner before they've earned it on the field."
Mr Jobs has no monopoly on innovation, says Mr Seidenberg, whose bullishness about Verizon Wireless' future rests partly on his assertion that the mobile phone is "the most disruptive thing in business".
As handsets become banking tools and games controllers, he argues, mobile operators can up-end other companies' business models. "It's very cool. And Steve Jobs eventually will get old . . . I like our chances."
Seidenberg then took off his shoe and began banging it on the table.