What’s on Verizon Wireless’ official device roadmap? A refreshed BlackBerry Storm later this year, Android and Motorola devices, plus a Palm Pre early next year, according to Verizon Communications President and CEO Denny Strigl in a conference call with analysts yesterday.
The carrier continues its “excellent” relationships with LG and Samsung as well, he said during the call to discuss second-quarter financial results. “You can expect to see a steady stream of attractive devices coming,” he said.
His comments mostly confirmed earlier reports, although the timing of the Palm Pre hasn’t always been clear. The “early next year” part about the Pre would indicate Sprint’s exclusivity on the device won’t last long. Sprint launched the device in June.
As for the iPhone, Strigl said it has been successful in expanding the overall smartphone market, and the carrier did notice an impact in the last couple weeks of June, when the $99 iPhone and $199 iPhone 3GS went on sale.
Asked about the current aggressive pricing environment, CFO John Killian said Verizon isn’t losing business to competitors; its churn has more to do with the economy and people losing their jobs.
The carrier also offered a bit more clarity on its LTE plans. The current game plan calls for conducting LTE trials in Seattle and Boston later this year, with a commercial launch in up to 30 markets next year. No specific bubble in capex is expected this year due to LTE, but next year, “we will be spending on LTE,” Strigl said. “We haven’t made public that amount, but I will tell you that it’s no significant addition on top of our planned capital budget for the wireless group.”
The plan is to continue expansion in 2011 and 2012, with the ultimate goal to cover all its POPs with LTE by the end of 2013.