Verizon's delay of Samsung's ATIV Odyssey may have had ulterior motives

Here is an interesting angle on why Samsung’s Windows Phone 8 device, the Ativ Odyssey, may have been delayed for Verizon. While one might think that it has to do with manufacturing delays or some other internal issue, it could be that Verizon is not gung-ho about helping Samsung build another dominant platform.

A report from the Korean Times is stating that Verizon and other carriers are increasingly becoming concerned of Samsung’s dominance in the mobile market. The report states:

Spain's Telefonica and U.S.'s Verizon, are intentionally less enthusiastic about carrying Samsung’s Windows-running Ativ series, even though Windows 8 is a highly competitive platform. It is to prevent the Korean company from gaining too much leverage power by controlling two platforms.

It is a bit odd that Samsung’s Ativ Odyssey was slated to arrive in late December and then was later delayed until “the coming weeks” when it was spotlighted at CES.  

If the above report is accurate, carriers are concerned that Samsung is becoming too dominate in the industry and they are likely wanting to avoid another Apple situation where the carrier loses control of the devices they are selling because the vendor has considerable mass over the market.

Will we ever know if Verizon truly is concerned about Samsung’s growing presence in the mobile space and that’s why they delayed the launch of the Ativ Odyssey? We may never know. But, at this point, we do know that the device was delayed from its original launch window and that Samsung is quickly becoming a massive force in the mobile space. 

Source: Korean Times Via: Ifans.com

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I'm not too sure any of this actually had anything at all to do with Verizon but rather Samsung not entirely being behind and supporting the WP8 platform. Notice that AT&T, which has been one of the strongest WP supporters is absent from the list of carriers that have confirmed a WP8 based Samsung device....what does that tell you

Expand this back to the release of the iPhone on Verizon and the Apple motive/money that flowed into Verizon.

Apple gave Verizon the iPhone to preempt them from releasing and making WP7 a flagship product. Which held up the USA HTC Trophy coming to Verizon for 8 months. Apple was also able to keep Verizon locking out any further WP7 commitments for over a year and a half.

So could the Samsung delays be due to carrier politics, you bet. However, Apple is the key manipulator that doesn't seem to be getting any attention for their involvement.

PS The irony is that the WP devices get more attention from Apple, because they cannot use litigation to prevent the import or sale of WP devices. So instead of using the courts, Apple directly works with the carriers to provide 'incentives' to limit WP availability.

thenetavenger said,
Expand this back to the release of the iPhone on Verizon and the Apple motive/money that flowed into Verizon.

Apple gave Verizon the iPhone to preempt them from releasing and making WP7 a flagship product. Which held up the USA HTC Trophy coming to Verizon for 8 months. Apple was also able to keep Verizon locking out any further WP7 commitments for over a year and a half.

So could the Samsung delays be due to carrier politics, you bet. However, Apple is the key manipulator that doesn't seem to be getting any attention for their involvement.

PS The irony is that the WP devices get more attention from Apple, because they cannot use litigation to prevent the import or sale of WP devices. So instead of using the courts, Apple directly works with the carriers to provide 'incentives' to limit WP availability.

Sure.... But you forgot to mention that Apple hired the Spectre to execute the plan.

Not that I am an Apple fan but.... Steve Jobs was the only one who had the balls to go head to head with the carriers and say "this is my device, if you want it this are my terms"; Verizon did not accept, AT&T said yes and they got the iPhone. The carriers are just a big bluff and it is ridiculous that a company as MS keeps bending in front of them.

Fritzly said,

Sure.... But you forgot to mention that Apple hired the Spectre to execute the plan.

Not that I am an Apple fan but.... Steve Jobs was the only one who had the balls to go head to head with the carriers and say "this is my device, if you want it this are my terms"; Verizon did not accept, AT&T said yes and they got the iPhone. The carriers are just a big bluff and it is ridiculous that a company as MS keeps bending in front of them.

Except Apple needed ATT originally, so it was a very mutual relationship getting the iPhone off the ground. Apple also could not extend themselves at the time to deal with CDMA, as GSM got them worldwide release with ATT taking the brunt of the carrier development costs and testing. (This is why Apple had an ATT tower on site, and non-ATT GSM issues had to be ironed out around the world in the first generation.)

After the iPHone took off, this created a LOT of leverage, especially at the release time of WP7. Even today, Verizon or ATT wouldn't dare do anything to lose the iPhone due to its customer loyalty and Apple PR/Marketing machine.

This means that Microsoft can't tell Verizon or ATT to bend over, as they hold the key to any success in the US markets, which also dictates worldwide public perception.

WP7 and WP8 has done well in many non-US countries, but until it takes off in the US, it will be seen as a second class product. And sadly ATT and Verizon still control the entire markets. Even on sub-carrier plans, they have to license and use ATT and Verizon towers in too many locations.

I'm sure you know all this because you were part of the "negotiations". Really, apple saw WP7 as such a threat the colluded with VZW to stifle it? Did you actually use WP, the no copy and paste at launch platform?

All that would have done is let Verizon post a loss sooner. The iPhone was the best thing that happened to them, the customers simply wouldn't have cared about Windoze phone.

thenetavenger said,

Except Apple needed ATT originally, so it was a very mutual relationship getting the iPhone off the ground. Apple also could not extend themselves at the time to deal with CDMA, as GSM got them worldwide release with ATT taking the brunt of the carrier development costs and testing. (This is why Apple had an ATT tower on site, and non-ATT GSM issues had to be ironed out around the world in the first generation.)

After the iPHone took off, this created a LOT of leverage, especially at the release time of WP7. Even today, Verizon or ATT wouldn't dare do anything to lose the iPhone due to its customer loyalty and Apple PR/Marketing machine.

This means that Microsoft can't tell Verizon or ATT to bend over, as they hold the key to any success in the US markets, which also dictates worldwide public perception.

WP7 and WP8 has done well in many non-US countries, but until it takes off in the US, it will be seen as a second class product. And sadly ATT and Verizon still control the entire markets. Even on sub-carrier plans, they have to license and use ATT and Verizon towers in too many locations.

sorry to,disrupt your dreams but Nokia was the biggest phones maker in the World; the US market is way behind the rest of the World, again thanks to the carriers and laziness of customers. If any carrier in Europe would try to say to their customers that they have to pay when they receive a call as well as when they place a call it would be out,of business in 24 hours.
Also check your facts: it is well known that Apple offered the iPhone to Verizon first and AT&T was their second choice.

efjay said,
I'm sure you know all this because you were part of the "negotiations". Really, apple saw WP7 as such a threat the colluded with VZW to stifle it? Did you actually use WP, the no copy and paste at launch platform?

Neither did Apple have copy and paste at launch, They also couldn't record video for MMS, and many other features that they innovated later (that already existed pre iphone)

Very plausible. I found it odd originally that Samsung would suffer such manufacturing delays when they have such a good track record for hitting their ship windows...

Azies said,
Nice ant-competitive practices there Verizon.

it's actually kind of more of a competitive practice, holding back the leader so the others can catch up.

Invizibleyez said,

it's actually kind of more of a competitive practice, holding back the leader so the others can catch up.

Except it won't do them any good. In fact, it's possible Verizon could be damaging their relationship with Samsung overall.

efjay said,

When did refusing to sell a product become illegal?

When you did it to purposely damage/hold back the sales. If more companies did this, we would be screwed as consumers to those that companies favored more than to what the consumer favored.

I am not sure if it qualifies as anti-competitive only because Verizon doesn't compete with Samsung, but it does reek of unethical behavior.

The only reason to block Samsung is to avoid the potential dominance of two ecosystems, which would mean that Samsung could likely demand higher profit margins down the road.

But Nokia has already been the clear Windows Phone market leader since the release of the Lumia 900. Had Verizon actually gotten something equivalent to the Lumia 920 on their network, then they would have no worries that Samsung would dominate. But, it would seem that Verizon balked at taking a chance with the Lumia 920 like AT&T has done ($100 on contract), so AT&T got exclusivity.

Reading between the lines, Verizon probably avoided putting much money into it while the manufacturers did, and Verizon was afraid that Samsung would reap the fruits of Verizon's cheapness. As a result, Samsung is losing out because they are playing two different ecosystems and the carriers are too cheap to risk their cashcows any further by offering more choice.

After all, both AT&T and Verizon got massive profits this past quarter, so they have no financial excuse to not being upgrading their networks or aggressively competing, but we all know that's not happening (particularly the former with AT&T, but the ladder for both).

This is a pretty legit concern for the carriers.. I think this is one of the main reasons that Nokia and Blackberry will survive is because the carriers want the competition around..

I for one am getting a bit annoyed with Samsung putting down all their competition in the majority of their ads.. Its the same old tactic apple used to use..

Lachlan said,
This is a pretty legit concern for the carriers.. I think this is one of the main reasons that Nokia and Blackberry will survive is because the carriers want the competition around..

Thing is, it's totally meaningless. Paradigms don't stick around long enough for a company to come and go and come and go and come again. By the time anyone got a handle on balancing one market, it'd be obsolete, standing in the shadow of whatever's next.

Smartphones are what they are because of hardware limitations. Depending on what happens with batteries, screens, networking, plastics, etc... who the hell knows whether the Samsungs of the world will even matter in 20 years.

I think its crap. Carriers should have no say what the phones can do. They already restrict so much. I think phones should come with a CDMA and GSM chip so I can use it on any carrier.

People want samsung because they good phones. Now LG, Nokia, etc need to step up and create better phones. Samsung took several generations of phones to get where they are at now.