Apple (AAPL) could boost iPhone sales by “at least 100% in units” by selling the phone at Verizon (VZ), Bernstein analysts Craig Moffett and Toni Sacconaghi argued today, in a report summarized by Barron’s.
Makes sense: Verizon, since acquiring Alltel, is now the biggest U.S. carrier, with millions more subscribers than AT&T (T), Apple’s exclusive U.S. carrier.
- Verizon runs a different network, called CDMA, than AT&T’s (and the rest of the world). Apple is probably hesitant to make a CDMA phone. And Verizon’s 4G network, built on LTE, won’t be ready for most markets until late 2010, and won’t be ready for everyone until 2011 or 2012.
- Apple probably won’t be able to maintain its industry-leading margins. While a Verizon deal might double iPhone unit sales, it means AT&T (and Verizon) won’t pay as much wholesale per iPhone without an exclusive deal. That could be a $100 to $200 revenue cut per phone, the Bernstein analysts estimated.
Don’t miss today’s Chart of the day: “Apple, RIM Swallow Mobile Industry Profits.”
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