The Power of Distribution or should it be distributing power?

Since my last post on the triumph of exclusivity Verizon announced the availability of the iphone on it’s network. The appears to be a win for Verizon, but what if this was a strategic move by Apple that had been long planned and in the works for some time?

Consider the following from an Apple perspective

– is this not simple distribution at play? -ie AT&T peaked it’s number of iphone units sold as well as it’s revenue in the last quarter, so perhaps it was time to go to new players

– is it not a competitive move against Google with the bevy of Android variants out there?

– perhaps it will solve AT&T customers problems indirectly- ie by enabling better quality service due to competition

– maybe it helps in anti- trust and ATT+Apple monopoly allegations

– or it could be of a special deal that Verizon will announce later for existing users to switch from other phones

– or could it be that the profitability per iphone unit sold on Verizon is higher due to a new revenue sharing deal

In short the Verizon iphone release is being seen mostly driven by ATT customer service issues- dropped calls etc, but that alone cannot drive Apple to go to another carrier. Further if it was purely a case of more market share, it would have included both Sprint and Tmobile the other 2 big US carriers. Especially Sprint, which is pushing its 4 G network.

But with widespread distribution comes quick commoditization. Instead this looks more like an extension of the Exclusivity model that has powered Apple thus far.

By following an unconventional distribution model derived from that exclusivity, Apple has done what other phone manufacturers could never do in their years in business. It is now distributing power ( of iphone sales) to carriers. Every carrier needs the iphone but how many does the iphone really need and by when?