Verizon to sell nine million iPhones at AT&T's expense: Analyst

The Verizon iPhone, the biggest myth of the tech world for the past few years, would sell nine million units in 2011, stealing many customers from AT&T, according to a note from analyst Gene Munster sent to AppleInsider. Rumored to arrive sometime in early 2011, the Verizon iPhone would break AT&T's iPhone exclusivity, leading many consumers to switch to Verizon's network.

Neither Apple nor Verizon has said when, or whether, there will be a CDMA iPhone, though various unconfirmed leaks say at least a prototype of the device exists. With that in mind, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray predicts that Verizon will sell about 25 million smartphones in 2011, and around nine million of those will be iPhones, the majority of which will be purchased by AT&T customers.

Munster also believes that AT&T and Verizon will combine to sell around 20 million iPhones next year (AT&T 11 million and Verizon nine million). This calendar year AT&T is expected to have sold almost 16 million iPhones, and the analyst predicts that if the carrier maintains its exclusivity with Apple in 2011 as well, AT&T could sell almost 18 million iPhones.

Judging by these figures, if Apple decides to partner with Verizon for a CDMA iPhone, it would manage to sell at least two more million iPhones next year. Munster also predicted that though initially a Verizon iPhone would cannibalize AT&T iPhone sales in 2011, balance would be restored by 2012, when he estimates AT&T and Verizon would both sell around 14 million devices each (out of total global sales of 79 million).

Munster's predictions are historically patchy at best, however they corroborate the findings of a survey by Morpace Omnibus done this year. The poll found that more than half of all Verizon subscribers are likely to buy an iPhone on the carrier's network. The survey also found 23 percent of current AT&T customers would go for a Verizon iPhone, as well as 22 percent of current Sprint customers and 20 percent of T-Mobile customers.

In contrast, Reuters reports that analysts at Nomura Equity Research said they expect AT&T to lose at least 2.2 million subscribers to the Verizon iPhone, but AT&T could have a net positive impact on earnings because of the early termination fee revenue. Currently, only those who bought an iPhone 3G two years ago would be eligible to switch to a Verizon iPhone in January free of charge. Otherwise, AT&T charges up to $325 for early termination fees of a contract (more than you paid for the iPhone originally, without subsidy).

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today@PCWorld on Twitter

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesApplePhonesconsumer electronicsat&tVerizon Wireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?