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Verizon offers to cut exclusivity periods so rural carriers can get phones quicker

Chris Ziegler

Call it goodwill, call it a PR stunt, but either way, the intended recipients of the gesture aren't biting -- yet. Verizon has gone on record saying that it has offered to reduce its exclusivity periods on phones it sources from Samsung and LG to just six months for rural carriers wishing to pick up the same devices; thing is, we've seen phones straight-up discontinued in less than six months, and understandably, the rurals are unimpressed with the offer. Specifically, Verizon is making the offer to members of the 25-carrier Associated Carrier Group, all of which use CDMA and represent a grand total of roughly 2.6 million subs. With juggernauts like Thumb Cellular (slogan: "Talk of the Thumb!") in the ACG, Verizon's overture does virtually nothing to hurt its competitive advantage -- and ACG's concern is that they'll need time after the exclusivity period expires to tweak devices for their networks' needs, meaning you're actually looking at more than six months from Verizon launch to... say, Thumb Cellular launch. Interestingly, the ACG was formed primarily to achieve some of the handset manufacturing economies of scale that the big guys enjoy, so they've got some sway to produce models of their own and don't necessarily need Verizon's help to get timely devices to market -- but it'd be nice. And no, Verizon, six months isn't timely in this industry.

[Via Phone Scoop]

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