Steve Jobs' hot new phone isn't the apple of everyone's eye. Verizon ( VZ) confirmed Monday that it passed on a chance to sell Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone, judging that a five-year exclusive sales deal came with too many strings attached. The iPhone, introduced to much fanfare earlier this month, has since become AT&T's ( T) weapon to win back business it lost to Verizon. But Verizon execs emphasized Monday that they aren't looking in the rearview mirror. "Quite frankly, we're happy we're not the first to market with the iPhone," Verizon COO Denny Strigl said on a conference call with analysts Monday. He cited terms that would have had Verizon sharing a cut of the monthly subscriber fees and letting Apple handle customer disputes. Verizon's rejection of Apple was reported in a USAToday story Sunday, which Strigl said was "right on." The half-inch thick iPhone, with a large touch screen, music player, and 2-megapixel camera, is expected to be available for $500 in June. The move marks Apple's first venture into cell phones and is expected to be a big hit with gadget lovers, who are already enamored with the iPod. AT&T declined to comment on the details of its iPhone contract. "We think our arrangement with Apple is a win for us and for Apple," a representative said Monday.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.