Monday, 25 January 2010

Verizon iPhone Release Imminent for 2010? Analysts Disagree on the Future of Appleโ€ s iPhone

This is not the first time we hear people talking about a Verizon iPhone
in 2010 and it will certainly not be the last time. Last time we talked
about the issue as rumors suggested that Apple and Verizon have been
testing an LTE version of the iPhone. But what do analysts say?
Apple will have to drop most of its exclusivity agreements if it wants
to sell even more iPhones in the near future. Cupertino has already
terminated exclusivity deals in UK and Canada so it s only fair to
assume that AT T is next. Apple has sold over 34 million iPhones already
and 20 million of those handsets have been activated in AT T stores.
According to Brian Marshall, a Broadpoint AmTech analyst, the iPhone
will reach Verizon in the second half of 2010. That sounds about right
as Verizon will want to sell the next generation iPhone. Should we
assume that Cupertino is going to launch an upgraded version of the
iPhone 3GS with LTE capabilities in 2010?
AT T s current iPhone subsidy is at $450 per unit which makes the iPhone
so affordable to the end customer. Verizon however will only pay Apple
$300 per unit which means that the next-gen iPhone coming from Verizon
could be a little more expensive. That doesn t mean iPhone sales will go
down. In fact, with both Verizon and AT T selling iPhones next year
Apple will profit even more. Verizon will sell a lot more phones than AT
T since it has more subscribers than AT T. And let s not forget that AT
T s network is hardly prepared to take even more iPhone users. On the
other hand Verizon s network is going to be able to deal with all that
extra pressure coming from potential iPhone owners.
What analysts don t say is that by mid 2010 a lot of AT T iPhone
customers will complete their 2-year agreement signed in 2008 when they
purchased the iPhone 3G. These customers, which are in the millions,
could move to Verizon in order to get the iPhone fourth generation for a
subsidized price.
Common sense says that Apple and Verizon will strike a deal soon and I
tend to agree with this side of the story. Of course other analysts are
against this move. Their reasoning is also pretty solid. They claim that
Verizon has just started its Android venture which shall continue in the
years to come and the carrier will rather stick to that instead of
getting the iPhone too. On the other hand, a CDMA iPhone is less likely
to come out that soon but I bet Apple can make a CDMA iPhone by next
year despite what analysts say.
What do you think?
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