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Verizon and Apple Q&AAt the iPhone 4 Verizon unveiling, Dan Mead, President of Verizon Wireless, and Tim Cook, COO of Apple, answer questions from the press.
-Thank you. Could you-- both of you, address how many of these CDMA iPhones that you could manufacture in the first quarter and in the first year of availability? -That's probably more a question for me. You know, I'm not gonna get into our forecast but-- because we tend to be a company that does something and then reports what we've done instead of predicting. However, we are incredibly excited to bring the iPhone experience to Verizon's 93 million customers and all the new customers that will want to use an iPhone for Verizon, and I think it's fair to say that both of us think there's tremendous opportunity and, you know, no one more than us wants to give Verizon customers the choice they've been waiting for. -Is the CDMA iPhone going to be on a one-year upgrade cycle or will it be refreshed in the summer, like the GSM iPhones? -You know, we have a longstanding practice of never commenting on our new product roadmaps. For all of you that focus on Apple, I'm sure you knew I was going to say that. -I guess some people are slightly surprised that this isn't a 4G LTE iPhone. Why did you decide to go the CDMA route and not LTE? -I'm sorry-- -Yeah. Two key reasons. One, the first generation LTE chipsets force some design compromises, some of which we would not make. And secondly and most importantly, Verizon customers have told us they want the iPhone now. You know, if I could-- if I can't tell you the number of times that I've been asked and my colleagues have been asked over this incredible success run of iPhone, the most popular question has been, "When will the iPhone work on the Verizon network?" And we wanted to provide people that choice now. -So let me just add and conclude the answer to that question from our perspective. We have a very robust idea and collaboration, we've been working at this for some time, as you've already heard in the course of this conference. We have a tremendous network in our 3G network, the best in the country, and we wanna make sure that customers can take advantage of that with this partnership, so, as we look at our roadmaps together, this was the right thing to do at the right time for customers throughout the industry. -Is CDMA iPhone going to be exclusive to the Verizon platform? -The agreement that Dan and Lowell and I have, Apple has, is a multi-year, so it's very strategic. It's non-exclusive, but beyond that, we're not commenting on the terms of the agreement. -Just a quick question. Looking at the picture you have up here, it looks like there's some differences in the antenna and I'm just wondering what changes had to be made, if any, to the antenna and I know there were some, you know, little controversy, but I'm just wondering if you've done anything. Obviously, it's a different-- CDMA so you've got some differences there but just like to know, from a technology perspective, what, if any, changes had to be made to the antenna? -It obviously has to be optimized to work on the CDMA EV-DO network. And it's going to do a great job of that. -And let me echo those comments, as I said in my opening, we have been going through very robust testing for a long period of time and we feel extremely confident we don't see any issues there and we know that the collaboration between Apple and Verizon Wireless is going to be an outstanding customer experience so we do not see that as an issue. -We were wondering, and we have a lot of readers who are wondering, what happens when you're using a data connection and you get a phone call? -Yes, so, it's-- let me handle that one. So it's consistent with other CDMA devices and, you know, we continue to improve the whole CDMA infrastructure but it's the same experience that you get on CDMA devices now. -First, is there an extra charge for the tethering? And secondly, apart from the ability to make voice calls, are there any capabilities or features in this version that don't exist in the GSM and WCDMA version? -Okay. Let me cover the first one. So, we talked about the device pricing. What we didn't talk about and we're not going to talk about today are the pricing for the network connectivity, but we'll be having announcements coming on pricing in the future but not today. -The answer to your second question, there is an additional feature in this iPhone 4 and that's the personal hotspot which can connect up to 5 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. -I'm just curious when we'll be able to see an LTE-enabled iPhone and will there be any data caps or limitations like AT&T currently has? -I'll take the first part of the question and then Dan can answer the second but first part of the question is, we're not gonna comment on any unannounced product, and I think all the Apple press here will tell you that's a fairly common answer. -And I'm gonna stick with my answer just a couple minutes ago. We're not commenting on any pricing or pricing strategy changes today, but let me say this, is that we are going to have a very strong offer to attract customers to our network on the right devices and to drive the right mix in our business and more to come on that in the future. -You mentioned the merchandising aspect, is this gonna be available in any of Verizon's indirect sales channels and is there a timeframe for that? -Yes, it is going to be available in indirect sales channels, not exactly at launch. I said-- I went through it pretty quickly, said it in my opening comments, but we are-- this is going to be available in certain of our key distribution partners. You know, we're not announcing a date today but it will be a matter of weeks where we'll have broader availability after the launch. -Experience is so paramount in Apple, in the iPhone with AT&T currently allows that GSM constant data, constant voice connection. Can you just describe what is the experience difference of being on a voice call and then attempting to access data such as a web. How does that feel on an experience level using CDMA technology? -You know, I think people place emphasis on different things and I can tell you that, as I said before, the number one question I've gotten, despite selling tens of millions of iPhones and having customers download billions of apps, is when will the iPhone work on the Verizon network and I could not be happier to sit here today and tell all of those 93 million people and all the people that want to join Verizon that we're delivering it to them and I think they will make those sorts of tradeoffs. -So I would just conclude with this and this will then end our Q&A. I'm very pleased with our partnership and being able to offer this to our 93 million customers and I'm especially pleased to be able to offer it to the 300 million people in the United States.