Verizon Tells Wall Street It Could Sell 11 Million iPhones This Year

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Verizon issued 2011 guidance today of 4-8% revenue growth (ahead of consensus) and 5-8% EPS growth. It’s basing its forecast on the idea that it will sell 11 million iPhones this year.But that’s not necessarily Verizon’s internal estimate on how many it will sell. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during an investor presentation that it was basing the 11 million projection on the Street consensus estimate for 2011 Verizon iPhone sales.

Shammo said there are too many variables at play to offer an internal estimate, including iPhone supply levels and the ratio of new-customer activations versus upgrades.

He said that if Verizon sells more than 11 million iPhones, its EPS could be at the low end of that 5% to 8% EPS growth range, because of additional subsidies that will be required. And he said that if Verizon sells a LOT more than 11 million iPhones, EPS growth could be outside of that range.

But he reminded investors that the more iPhone subscribers Verizon adds now, the more high-value smartphone customers it will have in the future.

Either way, he says Verizon has been preparing for the iPhone for a while. It hired over 3,000 customer service reps, and started selling the iPad as a way to familiarise them with iOS. And he says Verizon Wireless has been preparing its network for the iPhone for the last year.

Thanks to SAI commenter and contributor Sammy the Walrus IV for the tip.

Earlier: Why The Verizon iPhone Is Going To Be Huge: Only 26% Of Verizon Subscribers Have Smartphones

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