More than half of Verizon Wireless customers surveyed are interested in buying the iPhone when it becomes available, a new report indicates. There is “an unprecedented demand for the iPhone among Verizon subscribers,” one analyst firm says.
Changewave surveyed 4,000 Verizon subscribers and found 19 percent are “very likely” to buy the Apple handset with another 34 percent saying they are “somewhat likely” to purchase an iPhone. Another analyst believes a Verizon iPhone could appear in 2011 and sell a minimum of 11 million handsets the first year.
AmTech analyst Brian Marshall said current exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier AT&T had its contract with Apple extended another six months in exchange for offering iPad customers low 3G connection costs. “AT&T had to do something dramatic to get the iPad,” Marshall said.
Until the iPad’s introduction, analysts had thought Apple would add Verizon to the iPhone mix once AT&T’s exclusive contract expired this summer. Now, however, a consensus has developed that the Cupertino, Calif. company will likely hold off offering the iPhone to Verizon until next year.
Others suggest talk of Verizon getting the iPhone is only a ploy by Apple to slow the progress of Android – even that Verizon would lose money with an iPhone deal. Still, as late as last month, Verizon’s CEO said he was asking Apple for the iconic handset.