Verizon CEO: Carrier ‘never in the running’ for original iPhone

Speaking in an interview with BusinessWeek, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made several comments relating to Apple, the iPhone, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Asked whether he thought Apple made unreasonable demands when it was shopping the first iPhone, Seidenberg replied, “No. That was all part of the sort of mating dance they were going through.

But most of that [was] used not against us, but used against the carriers they ended up signing with, all right? So no, I didn’t think the terms were all that serious because we were never in the running.” Seidenberg also revealed that he personally called Steve Jobs and went to visit him about the possibility of bringing the iPhone to Verizon; Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless’ president and COO, also made calls and visits to Apple COO Tim Cook in hopes of securing a relationship with the company.

“In terms of Steve Jobs, I think this is just another arrow in his quiver,” Seidenberg said of Apple’s CEO. “He’s done a great job at innovating, and he’s got a product that people feel like they want to carry.

And we did want to carry the iPhone. I would also make this point: We’re further along in 4G than others are. So I think this decision, from Apple’s standpoint, is also very strategic because they get to establish a relationship with us early in their cycles to take advantage of the 4G stuff that’s going to come out over the next 12 months.”