Maybe Apple still needs Verizon. That seems to be the opinion of one analyst, who predicts Apple views the wireless carrier as a way to grab even more marketshare. The view is contrary to last week’s thinking Verizon’s ‘Droid’ phone had scuttled any chances of a post-AT&T deal.
“In our view, diverse carrier support is a key element to driving global penetration of the iPhone (from ~3% share today of the total handset market),” Broadpoint.AmTech analyst Brian Marshall told investors. “Therefore, we believe the chances are high the iPhone will find its way onto the VZ network in 2H10.”
Although Apple would suffer from the loss of what Marshall terms a “sweatheart” subsidy from AT&T, the Cupertino, Calif. company would make up the difference in volume. Experts believe Verizon could sell 14 million iPhones in 2011, garnering a cool $7 billion for Apple, which sells the handsets for $500 a pop.
AT&T recently reported the iPhone comprised 90 percent of the carrier’s new postpaid subscribers during the September quarter – up from 57 percent the year before. AT&T activated a record 3.2 million iPhones during the September quarter, 40 percent of whom were new customers for the carrier.