Verizon Communication Inc.'s CEO believes that supporting more mobile operating systems than Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google's Android will help drive innovation beyond the market leaders.
Talking Monday at a Citi conference in Las Vegas prior to the start of the Consumer Electronics Show there, CEO Lowell McAdam said it is good for the industry to have "three or four robust [operating] systems like that ... When you get a little bit more variety you get a little bit more innovation.
"We worked closely with RIM on their Blackberry 10, and they will be bringing that out," McAdam told the crowd. "I think they are going to show it here at CES this week."
He also said that Microsoft Corp. "is off to a reasonably good start" with Windows 8, which is being supported by HTC and Nokia Corp.
Even the limited diversity currently available has proven to be good for Verizon as it moved more LTE devices than other U.S. carriers during the third quarter. The company shifted 3.4 million Android smartphones in that quarter, with 3 million supporting LTE and switched on 3.1 million iPhones in the same period.
The last three months of the year maintained this upward wireless curve for Verizon, the CEO said at Citi.
"We had the best fourth quarter in the history of Verizon Wireless," he said, "We have been together since late 1999, and [for the] fourth quarter, we will be announcing 2.1 million net adds."
Eighty-five percent of the devices sold in the quarter were smartphones, and "the latest generation of those smartphones are all LTE-based," he noted. Verizon has the biggest LTE footprint in the U.S. with 477 4G markets now live.
Meanwhile, Big Red continues to pull in new customers with 30 percent of the net ads this quarter being new to Verizon, McAdam said. As the quarterly results come in later this month, it will become clear if Verizon is taking customers away from other carriers to achieve these additions and, if so, which ones.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile