Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple blows away CES to start 2011 on a rampage

Daniel Eran Dilger

CES was supposed to break loose that avalanche of Android tablets that would bury Apple. Instead, it was merely what it always is: a bunch of low impact PR fluff that Apple blows away with one or two new announcements.
Mac App Store

This year, it was the Mac App Store. One would think that opening a storefront for desktop PC apps wouldn’t be that newsworthy. It seems Microsoft did this for Windows at one point, but apparently nobody even noticed.

Apple rather expertly snuck its App Store shovel under the snow as it fell, pre-announcing its launch date underneath CES so that everyone could prepare their measured reactions and interview developers in attempts to find disgruntlement to report. But of course in the marketing world any attention is still attention.

The overall experience of the Mac App Store was very positive, because it’s something that offers a lot of value to the Mac platform, its developers, and its users. All Apple had to do to make its initial mark on 2011 was flip up the handle on its shiny new App Store shovel, launching the flurry of CES announcements into the air and to the curb, cleaning a neat path to its front door.

Even I was surprised by how much good content there was from day one; it’s important that Apple didn’t let the store fill up with wallpapers and music clips just to be able to report impressive “app numbers.” Take note, Google and Microsoft: less is more in the new app store.

Verizon on the horizon

Apple’s second announcement didn’t even need to be made. Everyone knows the iPhone is coming to the other big US carrier at this point. My critics like to complain that was wrong when I said that the iPhone wouldn’t come to Verizon in 2008 and 2009 and 2010, but it seems to have turned out that I was correct after all.

Apple of course wont be announcing the “new” iPhone on Verizon, because it’s not really new. As has been pointed out by a variety of Mac luminaries, including John Gruber and Jim Dalrymple, Apple’s letting Verizon do the announcements in New York because this is simply a matter of the iPhone gaining a new carrier. The underlying network transmitter isn’t interesting to the masses.

If Apple hosted the event on the Left Coast, it would appear to be abandoning its initial cozy partnership with AT&T, something it needs to maintain. It would also be difficult for Apple to let Verizon go wild in attacking AT&T’s network performance were Apple actually running the show. Since Verizon is doing it, Apple is pretty much hands off, all except for the disinvitation of Gizmodo.

However, it is interesting that the Wall Street Journal published such a confident confirmation of what we all knew right at the end of CES. It seems pretty likely that Apple arranged to drop that particular bomb at just the right time to flash melt the few flakes of CES PR that had escaped its shovel. Among those flakes were the official CES party thrown by Verizon, introducing its LTE rollout and the Android phones that will connect to its fast data network. Expensively.

So while Android will take over Verizon’s high end niche as early the adopter of 1.0 LTE technology, Apple will become the carrier’s flagship workhorse, capable of stealing away disgruntled AT&T users and entering the enterprise in a way that Android phones simply can’t, because they lack support for corporate proxy servers and full Exchange Server support. Seem the shoe is on the other foot.

And I’d also like to take credit for predicting, controversially, that 2010 would be the beginning of the end of Android hype. Verizon began betting against it late last fall before it began carrying the iPad, and is now moving to the iPhone to get the subscribers that Android can’t. Samsung is hedging its bets with Bada and Windows Phone 7. HP is going solo, as is RIM and Nokia, leaving just the “see what sticks” licensees left: HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, Samsung, and so on. The mass market producers of previous years’ Windows Mobile, JavaME and Symbian phones.


I’ve been documenting the fall of CES over the past decade; the notes for this year’s fizzled event is just a bookend for what has been a decade of failure. You might call it the curse of Microsoft, and it is so engrained into the DNA of PC makers that it has even managed to taint Google’s Android (“the Windows that’s worse than Windows”) and everyone else, even TV makers from LG to Samsung to Sony. Which collectively are doing to Smart TV what Palm did to smartphones in 2009: making promises they likely can’t deliver.

Here’s a recap of how CES has proven to be a graveyard of Microsoftic milestones:

2000 – Microsoft appeared to be stomping the remains of Apple and its Macintosh into the ground as it announced initiatives to expand Windows everywhere, first with WebTV and Microsoft TV, and then to smartphones with its new role for WinCE (still two years out) and tablets with Tablet PC. Apple announced the PowerMac G4 Cube, previewed Mac OS X’s new Aqua interface, and debuted iTools, the beginnings of its cloud services it has never been credited for (and which were later renamed .Mac and then MobileMe).

2001 – Microsoft launched the initial Xbox, relaunches Microsoft TV as Ultimate TV, and coins “Windows Powered,” an umbrella term for various WinCE devices. It’s starting to look desperate and ineffective. Apple released its new Titanium PowerBook, iTunes, iDVD, and shows off Mac OS X 10.0. Steve Jobs introduces the Digital Hub, with the Mac in the center, attached to digital devices like MP3 players, mobile phones, PDAs, and DVD players via Apple software and hardware integration.

2002 – Microsoft launched Mira Windows Powered Smart Displays and Freestyle (which would become the Window Media Center PC). Where’s the Microsoft TV thing? and Where is its answer to the iPod that Apple released the previous fall? No matter, Apple releases the flat panel iMac G4, the 14 inch iBook, and the new iPhoto, giving Macs something else graphically intensive to do so users would need a faster one.

2003 – More Media Center PC, more Tablet PC, SPOT watches (remember that?) and a video-capable answer to the iPod with Media2Go, albeit delayed until the middle of 2004. Still no worthy iPod competitor, as its Windows Media DRM is still MIA. Apple launched 12 an 17 inch PowerBooks, Final Cut Express, its new Safari browser, Keynote, and the new iLife suite.

2004 – Microsoft rolled out Media Center Edition 2004, enabling users to recognize that the product had been updated, along with showing the Portable Media Center players it had introduced earlier but wouldn’t have ready for several more months. Tying the desktop monopoly to new mobile devices didn’t work, leaving a gaping hole for Apple to continue selling iPods to Windows users and making iTunes the default music player for PC users. Apple focused on its new Xserve, iPod mini, Finals Cut Express 2, and the new GarageBand included in iLife 04.

2005 – Microsoft gave up on specific product introductions, talking only about a nebulous new Digital Entertainment Anywhere initiative laced with new brand names, including PlaysForSure and Windows Media Connect. Bill Gates’ keynote suffers significant technical problems, but nobody cares because nobody is even listening anymore. Apple debuts the Mac Mini, iPod Shuffle, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Final Cut Express HD, Pages with Keynote 2 in iWork 05, and iMovie HD in iLife 05.

2006 – Microsoft unleashes Xbox 360, a money pit that would eventually break even after consuming around $8 billion of the company’s profits. It also relaunched Portable Media Center in an effort to take on the iPod, although it would subsequently abandon that ecosystem by the end of the year to go it alone with its new Zune device. Apple launches its Intel-based new MacBook Pro and iMac, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger for Intel, iWork 06, and iWeb in iLife 06.

2007 – Microsoft launches Windows Vista and the Windows Home Server. Apple introduces Apple TV, AirPort Extreme with 802.11n, and of course, the iPhone, which sucks the oxygen from CES in an unprecedented way, leaving pundits and rival executives struggling for words.

2008 – Bill Gates announces his retirement from Microsoft. Apple launches Time Capsule, introduces new iOS updates, movie rentals in iTunes, Apple TV “take two” with HD rentals, and the ultra thin new MacBook Air, with an aluminum unibody construction that would trickle down into the rest of the MacBook line later that year.

2009 – Steve Ballmer took over Microsoft’s keynote, debuting Windows 7 with multitouch stuff that never materialized. Palm takes over the show with the new webOS Pre, which it says will trash the iPhone. On Apple’s side, Phil Schiller took over for Jobs, presenting new iLife’s new geotagging and face recognition in iPhoto and new Learn to Play lessons in GarageBand. An update to iWork was paired with new cloud collaboration features in iWork.com. Apple also launched the new unibody 17 inch MacBook Pro with an integrated battery design, completing the transformation of the MacBook line.

2010 – Microsoft rushes Slate PC to market in an attempt to head off the rumored Apple tablet. Shortly after CES, Google builds upon Verizon’s Droid inertia with the release of its Nexus One. Apple doesn’t participate in Macworld Expo, but does reveal the iPad, which shuts Slate PC out into the cold and delays competitors’ plans as they scramble to catch up in sophistication and in price.

2011 – Microsoft talks about the future of Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones, offering so little that Apple can hijack the entire event with nothing more than the announcement of the Mac App Store.

End of Wintel

Interestingly, this year Microsoft chatted up its eventual support for ARM chips two years hence. Its inability to run the NT/Vista/7 kernel on ARM mobile processors means that it can’t deliver powerful, mobile devices competitive with the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, all of which share the same kernel as Mac OS X.

Intel, meanwhile, being snubbed by Microsoft, turned things around by calling essentially calling Microsoft incompetent in delivering a worthy tablet OS, although it also said Google’s Android was having troubles as well.

In the 2010s, Wintel is gone, Android is replacing Windows among mobile devices as a weaker, more permissive monoculture, and Apple is set up to build a new ‘golden age of computing’ based upon simple, easy to use third party software apps with built in security limits, running like video game cartridges on its wide scope of Mac OS and iOS products, tightly integrated with its hardware designs. This should be interesting. Next up: my predictions for 2011. What are yours?


1 gus2000 { 01.10.11 at 11:05 am }

Daniel is not slanted in Apple’s favor. Reality is slanted in Apple’s favor, and Daniel just points it out.

Lets get back to the point of the article: that it’s painful to watch the unimaginative try to create, or the uncool try to be cool, or the clumsy attempt to dance. It’s also painful to watch the unimportant people at CES beat their chests about how important they are.

I find it ironic that everyone refers to Apple products as “Unicorns” when 90% of the techno-crap at CES will vanish, while Apple delivers real, usable products.

A product in the hand is worth 20 in the vaporware bush.

2 gus2000 { 01.10.11 at 11:07 am }


if (internet.usertype = troll) { feed(NULL) }

3 adobephile { 01.10.11 at 11:10 am }

Good one, gus200, but isn’t it:

if(internet.usertype == troll) { feed(NULL) }

4 sprockkets { 01.10.11 at 11:44 am }

CES is pretty much a place for demoing vaporware. Don’t you guys ever go to auto shows? It’s like the same concept. Sheesh.

Sony demoed a 3D camera. Will it see the light of day? Who knows, it’s interesting, and it gives PR points to Sony.

“if (internet.usertype = troll) { feed(NULL) }”

Good advice. Apple sites make it far too easy for it to happen though. It isn’t as if there are simple rational reasons to like their products. They just have, their “unique” fan base.

5 themacpundit { 01.10.11 at 12:30 pm }


Loved the charts. Of course tech pundits will wonder who could have foreseen that iOS would displace Android so dramatically….

6 ShabbaRanks { 01.10.11 at 2:21 pm }

Found it


Leo Laporte shows how bad a podcastmaster he is on this doozy.

7 Maniac { 01.10.11 at 2:27 pm }

@ sprockkets – “He posts much more BS on appleinsider as well, with trollish headlines and regurgitates the same stupid trash about Android.”

I notice that you post on Apple Insider as well. With plenty of trollish anti-Apple attitude. You sound like some kind of Google attack dog. Are they paying you?

8 luisd { 01.10.11 at 2:38 pm }

@ Maniac,
if(internet.usertype == troll) { feed(NULL) }

9 robnoah { 01.10.11 at 8:18 pm }

Trolls remain trolls.
The Mac App Store now leads the Apple business plan. I recall when the Mac was filled with software problems and disappointments aka Mac 8.0-9.0 days! Sorry though I love Mac these were times of testing that relationship. Along came Steve Jobs and the team to save the day in most areas like research & design, Mac X & Mac ‘s multimedia & office software and new hardware such as the bundled iMacs LCDs that beautified the desktop of millions of homes and further opened up the way for mobile devices.These have now become a major leading leap forward in technology history. At first glance the Mac appears to be roll-coaster of spurts & twists but accusing Apple of arrogance having stupid users is like saying bad things about someone’s mother just to cause hurt and resentment. Where is the well-thought about comments, pleasant, kindly, looking to boost communication and understanding? Who are these scoffers unable to stand up for the Android without complaining about Apple lovers like myself.

10 gctwnl { 01.10.11 at 11:24 pm }

Shouldn’t that be along the lines of

if (![user typeEquals:troll]} {
[self reply];

We could do a one liner without if or ?: too:

[self replyUnlessTroll:user];

11 bazza_clarke { 01.11.11 at 3:01 am }


you may find this interesting:
The Most Worthless Week in Tech: The case against the Consumer Electronics Show –http://www.slate.com/id/2280219/pagenum/all/#p2

As you acknowledge a lot of concept products gets shown at CES. And Apple doesn’t do concept products (http://counternotions.com/2008/08/12/concept-products )

So it is really easy for Apple to blow away CES, eg Mac App store, as it is a real product that has been used at least a million times rather than the vapour concepts from other companies.

12 root { 01.11.11 at 5:20 am }

The important thing with iPad and Android is that they break up what the public sees as a computer more and more, and with it also the Microsoft dominance. Very nice!
Then that Apple has at least as bad for us developers and a very dangerous rival because they actually do both good and proper functioning of hardware and a decent operating system. Apple has its strong supporters … No, to get rid of MS dominance will solve itself probably everything else in time.

Strongly disagree that Android has peaked, there are so many hardware manufacturers who want to build something new and Pad / TV etc. that any of these will be good, really good. A lot of other things will be so cheap that it will be big sellers .. How can you not believe there will be a winner?

“Hype” of course, with vague words can always say that to win, but what do you think?
Five times as many sales as Android IPhone / iPad, three times 1-1. I think at least three times .

13 sprockkets { 01.11.11 at 9:26 am }

Hey guess what DED?

“”Today we’re partnering with a giant of the industry, and that’s Apple,” Verizon Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam said at Tuesday’s press conference in New York City.

He revealed that Apple and Verizon began talks in **2008**, and the two spent a year testing the iPhone on Verizon’s CDMA network. Introduced at the press conference was Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who revealed that Verizon’s handset will have the same features as the existing iPhone 4, including FaceTime video chat and a high-resolution Retina Display.


So, are you willing to accept you are possibly wrong about that USA today reporter hearing rumors about a CDMA iphone in 2009? Wrong that it doesn’t have LTE?

I don’t care that you are wrong; just don’t pretend that you aren’t.

14 sprockkets { 01.11.11 at 9:35 am }

“I notice that you post on Apple Insider as well. With plenty of trollish anti-Apple attitude. You sound like some kind of Google attack dog. Are they paying you?”

Notice how I take issue with DED, not apple itself. I may dislike apple’s tactics at time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good, nor do I care that Android takes over or not. In fact, I don’t care even if they have half of what apple has.

Come on. Read this article here. http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/06/27/zdnets-mary-jo-foley-says-apples-iphone-needs-activesync/

Did Daniel have to do that? Absolutely not. In fact, Mary did not return the vile and treated Daniel fairly. Dan did retract what he said (because he was wrong, again), but was that necessary? No.

So don’t pretend that DED doesn’t bring it upon himself.

15 TenThousandThings { 01.11.11 at 10:46 am }

@sprockkets #62

“So, are you willing to accept you are possibly wrong about that USA today reporter hearing rumors about a CDMA iphone in 2009? Wrong that it doesn’t have LTE?”

Um, I think not, because it doesn’t have LTE. No voice + data, no LTE. Those two things will have to wait for the iPhone 5.

And technically Dilger wasn’t wrong that there would be no CDMA iPhone in 2010, which is what the USA Today article said was the “goal.” He was only right by a little over a month, but he was nonetheless right.

He also wasn’t wrong that CDMA would be a dead end by 2011, just like Tim Cook wasn’t wrong when he said the same thing. Anyone who buys a Verizon iPhone 4 now is going to be faced with an upgrade decision a year or so after buying. Of course, the same is true for AT&T customers buying now.

Your basic argument, whether you can see it or not, is that Dan was not wildly optimistic enough in 2009 about the future of the iPhone, because only a total Apple homer would have predicted that the iPhone would have so much high-end market prestige that Verizon would pay Apple to produce a dead-end phone they can sell at a premium for a year at best. Dan was arguing against that, rightfully so. He was non-technically wrong, but not for the reasons that you infer — indeed, the exact opposite.

16 sprockkets { 01.11.11 at 11:07 am }

He said if a CDMA phone were to debut, it would have LTE to make sense, as apple didn’t want to be in 2007 in 2011.

He said CDMA is a dead technology in 2009, for the premise of why apple shouldn’t or wouldn’t make a CDMA iphone. But apple did it anyhow.

He said that instead of Apple talking to verizon about an iphone, it was about wireless enabled macs. Instead, the CDMA iphone appears and there are no wireless macs.

All wrong.

Look, even if he said he was just a little off, I would be fine with that. Claiming otherwise is just downright asking for it.

“And technically Dilger wasn’t wrong that there would be no CDMA iPhone in 2010, which is what the USA Today article said was the “goal.” He was only right by a little over a month, but he was nonetheless right.”

He ridiculed the author. “USA Today published a weak bit of sensationalism under the guise of journalism, strongly suggesting there was some basis for believing that Apple would partner with Verizon Wireless to deliver an iPhone capable of working on Verizon’s network. That’s wrong, here’s why.”

There was no time basis added to the argument, no mention that this would be correct, except when he mentioned LTE would be ready, it then would make sense. Except we now know the iphone doesn’t have it, today, but still has CDMA.

No matter how you spin it, he was wrong on his reasons given, and he did not mention anywhere in the article that this would make sense for it to happen, save for it having LTE, which we now know didn’t happen.

17 masternav { 01.11.11 at 2:00 pm }

sprokkets, its time to just give up. Seriously. You are nitpicking and displaying seriously adolescent behavior about all this. You undermine your own opinions with diatribe and insults to the point that no one, even those inclined to support your comments, want to associate with them. I think you would be best served by running your own blog where you can champion your own opinions, call foul on anyone you please and there you can be as rude, desultory and inflammatory (or not) as you wish. All this however parallels your posting behavior over at AI, so I question whether you would follow any advice offered to you.

Daniel, kudos for your restraint in this case. For myself, I would have simply banned such repeated behavior – but I’d rather have silence than rudeness, personal choices being what they are and all.

18 roz { 01.11.11 at 2:52 pm }

We can roast Daniel over this, I don’t really see the point. Some of his predictions were off. Ok.

The bigger issue is why was Apple so late in bringing a CDMA iPhone to market. Clearly they could have done what they did today a couple years ago. Had they done so the market presence of Android would be much less. Now they are shipping a CDMA device just as LTE is being hyped. That does not seem ideal.

The issue is not that Daniel was wrong, it’s that Apple had a strategic failure. Daniel was defending Apple’s market approach, I would say wrongly, and I did at the time but Daniel is just a commentator. For Apple there are real consequences to being late to Verizon.

There are a lot of reason for Apple not to have supported Verizon this long. Either, they just could not make the deal because Verizon thought Android was the answer. Or maybe Apple didn’t want to make the deal because they were happy with ATT and the margins they got there. Possibly they were a bit distracted by the iPad and Jobs health to focus on this. Or they really were contractually tied to ATT in a way that seems unnatural. Who knows. In any case, we are better off that this CDMA phone is shipping. I wish it had been sooner but such is life.

19 adobephile { 01.11.11 at 3:59 pm }

And I don’t see the point of dwelling on all this hot air hoohaa about what could’a and should’a been done in what is already the PAST.

The Verizon Phone is about to appear. All we have to do is sit back and watch how it sells and performs.

20 gctwnl { 01.11.11 at 4:00 pm }

Isn’t China Telecom CDMA? And might the CDMA phone not have also something to do with the boom in that market? Apple clearly hedged its bets (as the CDMA phone has been `ready’ but not in the market (a bit like x86 OSX before Apple made the transition) for a year or more. But if you want to do a China Telecom iPhone you need CDMA anyway, and if you have CDMA and Verizon is really lusting for it you catch two birds in one stroke.

Verizon maybe less growth from CDMA (as part of it comes from AT&T and the US market is further ahead in smartphone saturation) than China Telecom.

21 gslusher { 01.11.11 at 5:08 pm }


“The bigger issue is why was Apple so late in bringing a CDMA iPhone to market.”

Considering that Apple started talking with Verizon in 2008, there had to be some non-technical reason for the delay because the engineering surely wouldn’t have taken that long. Jobs hinted at a possible factor in his interview in the D8 conference. Before the iPhone & ATT, carriers always dictated what would be on a phone. Verizon was probably among the very best/worst at doing this. (Heck, they even disabled some capabilities on my cheap Samsung flip phone. The same phone on other carriers can load ringtones and contacts from a PC, but NOT Verizon’s version. I had to buy ringtones at $4.99 each PLUS extra charges for “data access.”) Verizon (among other carriers, of course) still does this with Android phones: they load their own apps that the user can’t delete and control all Android updates. This has always been unacceptable to Apple. The fact that the iPhone is now available for Verizon says to me that Verizon caved. It probably took Verizon a while to realize that THEY were losing revenue and potential subscribers to ATT & the iPhone. (Right now, ATT is within less than one percent of matching Verizon’s subscriber base and becoming the largest carrier in the US, despite their problems.) It may have taken Verizon realizing that they needed the iPhone much more than Apple needs Verizon. (Do realize that Apple sells 70% of iPhones outside the US.)

“Now they are shipping a CDMA device just as LTE is being hyped. That does not seem ideal.”

Read what gctwnl wrote about China Telecom, plus another carrier (Reliance?) in India that is also CDMA. They’re not going to LTE anytime soon.

Together, they have more than twice as many subscribers as Verizon. Perhaps Apple told Verizon that they were going to build a CDMA phone for China and India. If Apple had announced that and the phone wasn’t going to be available on Verizon and the reason was given that Verizon wouldn’t meet the same terms that dozens of other carriers around the world have, Verizon would have taken a BIG hit. Better for Verizon to be the first carrier to officially carry the CDMA iPhone.

I’m a Verizon subscriber, but may switch to ATT to get an iPhone, rather than have to sign a contract with Verizon, whose treatment of me has been abyssmal. For over two years, they would call and sent text messages (which they tried charging me for until I complained, though I did have to pay for the text I had to send–three times–telling them not to send texts to me) telling me that I could get a new phone with a new contract. The calls accelerated until I was getting at least one every week or two after it had been two years past my contract expiration. Finally, I told a supervisor (well, supposedly a supervisor) that, if I got one more call, I’d switch carriers within a week and file a harassment complaint with my state’s AG. The calls stopped, but they should have stopped the first time I asked not to be called, which was the first time they called.

22 Brian Willoughby { 01.11.11 at 7:39 pm }

What about the whole phenomenon of television ad criticisms of iPhone for not being “4G”?

According to the definition of 4G on Wikipedia, none of the products being sold now are anything more than glorified 3G LTE technology. When true 4G finally becomes available, is the industry going to have to call it “5G” just so that people don’t get further confused after all of the fraudulent advertisements?

If competitors want to criticize the iPhone for being slower, then just say that. But to lie and say that the iPhone is only 3G while their product is “4G” is just a poor tactic that will hopefully backfire. 3G LTE is not 4G, not matter how much the marketing types want it to be.

Are we going to have another MPEG-3 that never gets released because it’s out of date by the time it could ship?

… or, have you already covered the “4G” topic in another article, Dan?

23 Dude { 01.11.11 at 9:39 pm }

What’s up with Google dropping support for H.264 video in Chrome?


24 roz { 01.11.11 at 10:18 pm }


Yeah I basically agree with you, except I think there was probably movement on both sides. Apple realized the threat from Android was real – and the Droid hype machine was making an impact. Verizon saw that even though they were starting to have some traction with Droid, they were still losing customers to ATT and ATT was growing high value customers at a faster.

I also think that a factor might have just been the people involved. Verizon is transitioning to a new CEO. I think Seidenberg just was less willing to play ball with Apple and potentially there was some poison in relationship from when Apple first approached them.

And there is, as you say, a culture issue. Both of these companies want to control the experience. Totally correct that VZN messes with devices. I was a customer there for 10 years before switching to ATT for the iPhone. Every cool device came 6 months late and very crippled. It was totally annoying.

It is possible that other markets were a factor but I still think that starting to support CDMA/EVDO in January 2011 is late, setting all these considerations aside, this should have happened with the 3GS upgrade cycle, that would have made a hell of a lot more sense.

I would give it some careful consideration to going ATT. One thing I found after switching to ATT was that the sound quality went way down. That was definitely true with the original iPhone. 3G helped the situation but I still feel like my old CDMA phones had a much better call quality than I get with the iPhone 3GS I now carry. At the same time, I was happy to leave Verizon because by the time the iPhone came out I was just sick of their higher prices and tactics.

@Brian Willoughby

I think its funny that ATT now calls their network 4G because my iPhone clearly says 3G at the top of the phone. Maybe it needs a software update?? ;)

25 thibaulthalpern { 01.12.11 at 5:34 am }

I’m really looking forward to the downfall of the Android hype. I’ve always viewed it as ridiculous that ideologues couch Android in terms of “freedom” and “openness”, using the same kind of rhetoric we do for talking about democracy. Hello, people! Android is JUST as commercial! It exists to get Google more advertising share. It’s getting to the point where Android is being portrayed as a panacea to world peace. I roll my eyes!

26 thibaulthalpern { 01.12.11 at 5:43 am }

Sprockkets, I seem to remember too that Daniel predicted wrong. I remember reading a while back that he said that Apple will never come out with a CDMA phone because CDMA is not a world standard. It’s used only by a few countries. GSM is the standard worldwide. And, Apple isn’t going to waste resources and support by creating a phone model that is primarily going to be used in the U.S.

That’s how I remember what Daniel said. So, if my memory serves me correctly, Daniel’s prediction was that there WON’T be any CDMA phone. So, as much as I am a fan of Daniel’s, he seems to have predicted incorrectly.

27 thibaulthalpern { 01.12.11 at 6:22 am }

I read through all the comments finally and saw Daniel’s response to the question that sprockkets brought up. Anyway, interesting. I haven’t bothered to go back to see what exactly Daniel wrote in 2009. It’s not a big concern of mine whether he did or didn’t predict correctly.

A more interesting question I have is actually does anyone think Apple will produce a combined CDMA/GSM phone for the iPhone 5? I think this would actually be ideal as opposed to making two versions of the iPhone 5. Of course, maybe it won’t be so ideal if a combined CDMA/GSM phone needs to be very bulky and a battery hog.

28 hrissan { 01.12.11 at 12:05 pm }

Daniel, no offence, but you have explained so many times that CDMA is ancient, dying and doomed (I totally agree), and so Apple has no reason to support it, that no wonder I myself seem to remember your position always was “If iPhone on Verizon, then LTE model in 2012 or later”. :)

29 schwabsauce { 01.12.11 at 12:10 pm }


This article makes it pretty clear that the only reason it took so long to bring the iPhone to Verizon was because Verizon did not want to share the profits from their service contracts as AT&T does.

In other words, it has absolutely nothing to do with “Apple considering Android a proper threat”. Remember that the “sales” numbers for Android were actually the numbers that were being given away, buy one get one free for $199. Verizon used Google and the hardware vendors to try to pull one over on Apple. Never mind the fact that these hardware makers probably broke the law in their blatant imitation of the iPhone – their relevance is all but finished.

Android may someday grow into a stable system, who knows. The underpinnings of iOS are something like 20 years in the making – when (and if) Android reaches that ripe old age we’ll see if it’s worth a look. Yet, Apple and NeXT had the foresight to be responsible about their use of intellectual property, whereas Google just wholesale stole from Sun/Oracle. Plus, Java is probably never going to amount to anything anyway. It’s nowhere near as productive as modern platforms like Ruby, Cocoa, and HTML5.

Welcome to the fold, suburban and rural Americans! We hope you like it here.

30 roz { 01.12.11 at 1:08 pm }


I read that article differently than you do. Look at the main passage explaining why this happened:

“The companies’ detente underscores Verizon’s desire to offer one of the best-selling smartphones, even if it means ceding more control than usual. Apple, meanwhile, gains access to the largest U.S. wireless carrier. That may help maintain its ballooning sales growth and stave off competition from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., which use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

“We said over the last three or four years that the business interests would come together — and they did,” McAdam, who is in line to be Verizon’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.”

When he says their business interests came together, that to me means that both sides saw an interest in working together. Clearly Apple saw a reason to make the deal now. That article mentions Android specifically as part of the reason. You don’t agree with the author of the article you cite?

Also in terms of the revenue sharing. Yes, perhaps Verizon objected to Apple’s early terms that they get a stake in the on-going revenue. And then ATT agreed to those terms. While that might have been a factor in not offering the iPhone on Verizon when it was first introduced, by the time the iPhone 3G shipped those terms were changed. The iPhone 3G and all the ones that followed used the standard mobile phone subsidy model that all carriers and handset makers use. In terms of the revenue sharing mechanism that should not have been an issue after July 2008.

A different issue is how much of a subsidy the carrier pays for the phone. This is the carrier’s price for the equipment. It is possible that the amount of the subsidy was a sticking point. My guess is that even after iPhone 3G, ATT was paying Apple a pretty generous subsidy, and likely it was higher as long as ATT was the exclusive provider.

In that case, Apple would be a faced with a tough dilemma that would have given it a strong incentive to stay exclusive with ATT. Potentially, and we don’t really know the facts – this is clearly speculation, in order to make the deal with Verizon Apple would be sacrificing the exclusive deal with ATT – thus sacrificing margin on one side, and then on the Verizon side because Verizon was not motivated at the time – they would be paying a lower price to Verizon than ATT would offer. The result is that while offering a phone to Verizon was strategic it meant Apple losing money on both sides of the deal. I can see Apple not aggressively seeking that.

Thankfully, it took Android time to get market acceptance and even now when it seems to be selling well it has not had the demand that the iPhone has. In the end both parties could come together before it was too late.

31 schwabsauce { 01.13.11 at 8:47 am }

I do see it differently upon a third reading. It does say that the revenue sharing has ended. Snubbing Verizon initially probably had a lot to do with the GSM technology that allowed Apple to roll the phone out globally, however.

Verizon may have negotiated a lower price for the phones, but I suspect that they also tried to negotiate the issue of software control. Traditionally they have crippled their phones and tightly managed their network traffic. Although they now claim to offer unlimited bandwidth, they have a history of reneging on that service, and the phenomenally high bandwidth that many iPhone users consume could still be a difficult issue.

I still think that now that Verizon customers will start to understand the differences between the pretend iPhones they have been carrying and the real thing, it will become pretty clear that there was never any true competition. In a few months we’ll know!

32 mrBitch { 01.13.11 at 8:41 pm }

@ roz, re:
“When he says their business interests came together, that to me means that both sides saw an interest in working together. Clearly Apple saw a reason to make the deal now…”

The best answer to just how much Apple had to compromise to get the iPhone on Verizon is pretty well summed up in the comments section of this betanews article :

commenter “iphonedroidberry” posts :
(sourced via gruber)

So, to recap, here is how Verizon “takes no crap from suppliers”, and how Verizon “is in the driver’s seat”, and how Verizon “won’t cow before Jobs” and how Verizon “set the terms of the deal”:

a) no V-cast software
b) no Verizon software/bloatware/crapware (of their own or of their partners)
c) no Verizon selling of games music or apps
d) no Verizon branding on the hardware
e) no Verizon control of software/firmware or updates
f) no Verizon control of scheduling of release dates for software updates
g) NO exclusivity deal for a USA CDMA version of iPhone

Beyond those tiny little things, if you overlook items a thru g, yes, Verizon is definitely wearing the pants in the Apple/Verizon relationship.

33 Brian Willoughby { 01.13.11 at 9:14 pm }

Thanks for that comment-link, mrBitch. Very entertaining; and also astute.

34 roz { 01.15.11 at 5:25 pm }


They came to an agreement with which they were both happy. I kinda think they are both still wearing pants. I don’t get the impression that the Verizon guys rolled over. You want deals where both parties benefit.

From another perspective, Android has traction in the market, it just passed iPhone, so maybe Apple was also motivated to make the deal.

Also, I hate to burst your bubble but I hope you are aware that you are leaving out a significant term for the negotiation: price. Money can balance a lot of issues in a negotiation.

Also, apparently Verizon will have more control of the customer relationship than ATT has had.

My point is that we don’t know all the terms of the deal. But yes many of the terms that people often said made a Verizon phone an impossibility were, in the end, negotiable. I have been saying that on here for a long time.

35 robnoah { 01.15.11 at 6:39 pm }

@MrBitch Thanks for the run down on Verizon vs Apple deal and who actually wears the pants! No doubt about it the iPhone rules and will continue to teach others how to design an amazing super-smart phone…and the tablet “to rule them all”!

36 enzos { 01.15.11 at 7:00 pm }

Yes indeed, Roz, you have! Though Dan wasn’t that far off the mark.

And a blessed 2011 to you


37 fleetfoot { 02.21.11 at 5:21 am }

03/03/11 – Apple announces the impending release of a new remote control device to clear out cow pens. The device will be battery powered and can be controlled via iPhones and/or iPads. It will eliminate the toil of manually dealing with manure.

03/27/11 – In major news today Microsoft, HP, Google, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba announced their ECO friendly devices for cow manure removal for 2012. These devices will use Windows 7 or Andriod operating systems to provide superior functionality than the Apple iOS equivalents and be available at a substantially lower price point.

38 fleetfoot { 02.21.11 at 8:17 am }

“At midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row.”
— Bob Dylan

And Mr. Gates & Mr. Ballmer
so well matched that’s for sure
counting all their riches while the
users wonder who
can make sense of this
hopeless case
and wonder why it crashed
with no warning or nor clue
must be something in the air tonight
on electric avenue
It’s just business as usual friends
the policies are all set
Screw them before they get
A chance to screw you.

39 Inside CES 2011: the Copycat Electronics Shitshow — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.09.12 at 10:53 am }

[…] shift the industry. A vision Microsoft would eventually follow several years later. Here’s a recap of how CES has proven to be a graveyard of Microsoftic […]

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