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Verizon says iPhone 4 launch largest in its history, LTE on the way

The chief executive of Verizon Wireless, Daniel Mead, refuted rumors that its launch of iPhone 4 had failed to meet the company's expectations, noting that it has never launched a more successful product.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Mead added that the lack of long lines greeting the new phone were not an indication of poor sales, but rather the result of successful online sales and an "intentional strategy aimed at spreading out the purchasing activity."

Some critics had mocked the lack of long lines greeting the iPhone 4 launch as "laughably short," as Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider did on the day it went on sale at retail stores.

Mead countered that Verizon had intentionally staggered pre-orders to its existing customers a week ahead of the general launch online and at retail stores to avoid the kind of laughably long lines that Apple and AT&T generated last summer after their ordering systems melted down, forcing every customer who wanted the phone to visit retail stores.

"It was a conscious decision to spread the launch over three phases," Mead said, noting that 60 percent of the CDMA iPhones were sold online. "If we had not done online, you would have seen a much different flow in the pictures."

Verizon will double the number of stores selling the iPhone, from 4,000 to 8,000 outlets, over the next few days, but it will not be releasing iPhone sales numbers until it is due to report quarterly earnings.

LTE iPhone in the works

Mead also countered assumptions that Apple would be ignoring LTE just because it hasn't announced any vaporware pertaining to next generation networks.

"You'll see more coming from Apple on LTE," Mead said in the report. "They understand the value proposition of LTE and I feel very confident that they are going to be a part of it."

Mead added that Verizon will continue to "strongly support" RIM's Blackberry, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, and phones from Android licensees, despite its current heavy promotion of iPhone 4.

He also remarked that upon hearing about the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, he contacted Nokia's chief executive Stephen Elop to "congratulate him and express his interest in learning more about the company's plans," and stated that "Verizon is waiting to hear from Nokia on how to move forward."