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The much-anticipated announcement that the iPhone will be available through Verizon has been made. Industry experts are now analyzing the move in light of capabilities, past problems, and demand (for Verizon) that is difficult to predict. Clearly, AT&T did foresee demand and its network was unable to handle the load. The company claims it responded to these problems and its 4G network is now much faster. AT&T also points out that its customers are able to multi-task with their smart phones while Verizon’s CDMA technology will not allow this. Verizon has the number one-rated network for quality. Company insiders say they have accurately anticipated demand and their network is fully capable of handling new users.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Imagine you are a top-level executive at Verizon. How would you utilize the planning process to ensure the launch of the iPhone goes smoothly and successfully?
  2. The move to offer the iPhone has been in the works for months. What are the benefits of making the announcement (that the phone would be available) early, planning, and delaying availability?
  3. Should planning for the iPhone be short- or long-range? Why?
  4. Without doubt, the move to acquire the iPhone represents strategic planning for Verizon. Consider AT&T’s problems with the iPhone. How can tactical and functional planning help Verizon avoid a similar fate? Do you see any evidence of this from the article?
  5. In terms of planning tools and techniques, what can Verizon do to anticipate demand for the iPhone? What else should Verizon be doing between now and February to make sure it is ready regardless of the situation (e.g., existing customers simply switch phones, an influx of new customers putting pressure on their network)?

SOURCE: S. E. Ante, & Y. I. Kane, “Verizon Wireless Confident It’s Got Muscle for iPhone,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703667904576072110862862244.html)

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