Verizon CEO: Suggestion of iPhone success a ‘conspiracy’

In an interview with the Financial Times, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg has referred to the press’ suggestion that Apple’s iPhone 3G handset will see widespread success a “conspiracy.” Seidenberg described Apple as a “great company,” while pointing out its currently small share of global handset sales, and scoffing at the suggestion that the iPhone 3G’s lower subsidized pricing will help it gain mass-market acceptance. “There goes the conspiracy again,” he said. “You’re declaring them a winner before they’ve earned it on the field.” He also said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has no monopoly on innovation, while describing how advanced mobile handsets could cause problems for other companies’ business models. “It’s very cool. And Steve Jobs eventually will get old . . . I like our chances.” Verizon recently announced a deal to buy Alltel for $28.1 billion, a move that will make it the largest US mobile company with more than 80 million customers. Seidenberg’s comments follow an incident in which a radio DJ staged a smashing of his iPhone, only to receive a call from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse moments later, who said “that was music to my ears.” The DJ’s destruction of the iPhone allegedly was “bought” by Sprint to promote a competing phone.

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