The almost manic anticipation for Apple’s new iPhone might have some of the competition cowering in fear, but not Ivan Seidenberg.
The Verizon Communications chairman and CEO knows the new smartphone is going to heat up the mobile sector, but he’s confident his company will win over customers with cutting-edge handsets of its own.
“We don’t underestimate the capability there,” Seidenberg told Cramer during Mad Money this evening, “but we’re absolutely convinced that we have products that will give customers even greater choices.”
Verizon plans to offer phones that allow users to download music just by holding the handset up to a car radio. That means no computers or fixed terminals needed. There are also plans for mobile TV this year, and the company has a few new smart devices in the pipeline to boot.
Cramer wanted to know if Verizon has plans, like Comcast , to buy a television network, but Seidenberg doesn’t see the point.
“I’ve always learned that you never say never,” he said. “But it’s not in our thinking that we need to own content. The way we see it, with the power of our networks, and the power of our platforms, content becomes much more a commodity-like service than it ever used to be.”
To Seidenberg, it’s hard to keep up with every new media application that comes out, so Verizon’s focus is on maintaining the highest-quality networks to allow the company to best package content for its subscribers.
FiOS, Verizon’s new fiber-optic service, has been a hit, but there have been questions as to whether there’s been enough customer service to meet the demand. Seidenberg said his company has responded “fairly well,” but some of the advertising has been out in front of the actual deployment, especially in places like New York.
Even still, “It’s a good situation to have, to have people recognize the power of this great new product,” Seidenberg said.
With such a good dividend, great earnings per share, a strong balance sheet and a willingness to take Apple and the iPhone head on, Cramer thinks there are plenty of reasons to own Verizon.