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Consumer Confidential: No Verizon iPhone, Disney goes social, Starbucks raises prices

September 23, 2010 | 10:00 am

Here's your throwaway Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Many Verizon customers have been hoping the wireless company would cut a deal to bring the iPhone to its network. Right now, only AT&T offers the popular iPhone. Despite rumors that a Verizon iPhone could come as soon as January, the company's chief executive, Ivan Seidenberg, has made clear that it won't happen any time soon. Speaking at an investment conference, Seidenberg said introduction of a Verizon iPhone would likely hinge on establishment of a faster "4G" network, and that won't be until 2012 at the earliest.

--Disney has taken a big leap into social media. The company has launched a new website showcasing photos, videos and other content from visitors to its theme parks. Disney also plans to use the content in TV ads, brochures, print ads and other marketing. The website is part of a new Disney campaign the company is calling "Let the Memories Begin." But don't go thinking you can slip any naughty bits into the Magic Kingdom. Disney says it will screen all content before it goes online.

--Be careful the next time you go to Starbucks and order a double no-foam nonfat soy latte macchiato espresso deluxe whatever. The company says it's raising its prices for "more labor-intensive" drinks. Prices for the most popular drinks, including the $1.50 12-ounce cup of brewed coffee, will stay the same or decrease, Starbucks says. But larger and more complicated beverages will cost more. Behind the latest price increases are jumps in the cost of coffee and milk -- two key ingredients in Starbucks' success. Then again, when your customer base is made up of drug addicts -- and you know who you are -- you can pretty much write your own ticket.

-- David Lazarus