Speaking in a recent interview, Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead made several comments regarding the iPhone and Apple’s future plans to support its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mead said that although the company won’t be revealing exact iPhone sales numbers until its next earnings release, reports that sales fell below expectations were incorrect, and that the modest lines seen at stores on launch day were attributable to the company’s staggered launch strategy. “It was a conscious decision to spread the launch over three phases,” said Mead, who added that the launch was staggered in order to ensure the best possible purchasing experience for customers. He also said that more than 60 percent of iPhone 4 sales occurred online, helping to explain shorter-than-expected launch day lines. “If we had not done online, you would have seen a much different flow in the pictures,” he said, adding that the company will soon be doubling the number of stores that sell the iPhone from 4,000 to 8,000.
Regarding Apple’s support for Verizon Wireless’ new 4G LTE network, Mead said he expects Apple to offer devices compatible with the technology, although he declined to give details as to what those products might be or when they might be released. “You’ll see more coming from Apple on LTE,” Mead said. “They understand the value proposition of LTE and I feel very confident that they are going to be a part of it.” Apple is widely expected to include support for Verizon Wireless service in at least one model of its upcoming second-generation iPad, although it is unknown whether that support will be limited to the company’s more widely-available 3G network.