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Verizon branded Apple iPhone to be introduced just after CES; what will happen to AT&T?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Verizon branded Apple iPhone to be introduced just after CES; what will happen to AT&T?
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple will be introducing a Verizon branded Apple iPhone before Valentine's Day. The story quotes an Apple insider who knows all of the plans but is not authorized to publicly release the details. He says that in early January, just after the CES show, Apple will show off the Verizon version of its touchscreen phone. The report says that Apple will then host one of its "flashy product introductions" for the device before February 14th.

The question is, what will be the effect on AT&T. Some analysts predict that the cost and hassle of switching carriers mid-contract will not be worth it.  Some believe that the prediction of droves of AT&T customers switching to Verizon is way off base. Charles S. Golvin, who works for Forrester Research says, "I'm sure some AT&T customers are sufficiently frustrated to switch, but the vast majority are at least happy enough." UBS analyst John Hodulik predicts that AT&T will sell 8.8 million Apple iPhones in 2011, down from 15.6 million units sold this year. He also estimates that Verizon will sell 13.3 million iPhones next year. He breaks that figure down by saying that 2.3 million of the Verizon sales will come from AT&T customers making the switch. About 10 million will be Verizon customers switching from another platform, and the balance will be from those leaving other mobile operators.

The damage to AT&T's financials might not be as deadly as some think. The carrier is not going to go under if it loses exclusivity on the Apple iPhone. Even if 6 million customers defect, the revenue would amount to just 10% of the estimated 2011 revenue for AT&T wireless, according to UBS. That also amounts to just 4.8% of the entire company's 2011 sales.

Bloomberg Businessweek says that AT&T is not just going to be sitting back, crying about the lost revenue. The carrier plans on pushing alternatives to the Apple iPhone such as handsets loaded with the Android OS says former Verizon executive Mark Lowenstein, now a managing director of consulting firm Mobile Ecosystem. So far, of the nation's top four carriers, AT&T has embraced Android the least although it has been strongly pushing handsets using the new Windows Phone 7 OS. The jury is still out on how successful that platform will be.

And what about the other half of the the nation's top four carriers? Bloomberg says that there are no plans for either Sprint or T-Mobile to introduce their own iPhone which leads UBS analyst Hodulik to predict that Sprint could lose 650,000 customers while T-Mobile could be 950,000 customers lighter in 2011 as a result of the Verizon branded device.

source: BloombergBusinessweek

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posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:27 8

1. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

It will be funny when it does not happen.....

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:35 1

4. allboutverizon (Posts: 66; Member since: 20 May 2009)

I actually kinda don't won't it to happen. I'm happy with the Droid family of phones available with VZW. I also think Verizon has well proved that they doesn't need the Iphone to survive. Now AT&T on the other hand would be hurt if the Big Red got the phone. I don't say that as a fanboy but as just general financial perspective.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 14:02 4

15. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)

you guys are encourageable......

so it was christmas... then it was just after christmas... then it was jan 2010, now its just before Valentines Day...

you know what you could do... report REAL news.
you guys are like the tabloids of the cell phone industry.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 15:06 3

22. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)

Actually, that's not true. PhoneArena never reports rumors as news. They always report rumors as rumors and site exactly who said it. In this story, they are simply reporting what a new agency as said. In no way did PhoneArena say this is absolutely true and going to happen. Hell, half of the time they will begrugeonly say, "Here's yet another iPhone rumor..." which they don't HAVE to report on, but if it's a different rumor, they put it out there. Again, not reporting it as fact.

PhoneScoop is a website that only reports news and news only. They've only reported on a rumor when some of the bigger organizations (like one featured in this story) went on record to say a Verizon iPhone was going to be launched in 2011. If you're looking for actual news, that's a good site. But PhoneArena will give you news, rumors, and all kinds of other tidbits of information.

posted on 31 Dec 2010, 05:50

52. Just here (unregistered)

I agree until it's on Verizon's website i'll believe it

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 14:59 3

21. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)

I still wonder why Apple would choose the slowest quarter to debut the most anticipated phone on the market: Verizon iPhone. Not because people won't buy it, but because of two things. First, a lot of people have already resigned their contracts for the holiday season, whether it is AT&T or Verizon. On Verizon's side, they will lose money for the people who exchange their phones for an iPhone if they are within their 30-day exchange/return. I know when I worked for Sprint, they said it costs the company $170 per handset that comes back and exchanged for another. And then, what about the people that can't exchange? And for the AT&T side of things, folks have that huge ETF of $325. Even for folks who resigned back in June would still pay about $250 to get out of the contract and still have to buy a new phone on top of that.

I mean, no one is perfect, but it just doesn't seem like a smart move. Plus, if Apple waited until June to sell the iPhone, they'd at least give folks on AT&T a few more months to get the ETF down.

But all signs point to this year being the year. I think every major paper organization has reported this as truth and newspapers aren't as likely to print something untrue as television journalists or bloggers are. A lot of those papers and wired services would have to make massive apologies for basically misinforming the public. Also, AT&T's hike in ETF could be a sign that this is the last year...but there was also a little problem of people buying iPhones with the $400 discount, selling them, and paying a $175 ETF. It was time for AT&T to update the ETF years before they actually did it. And I'm sure the heat Verizon took for upping theirs didn't help matters at all.

I guess we will see. I don't think we will see the mass exodus that people are expecting if Verizon gets the iPhone. But I am also not convinced of the early timing of the Verizon iPhone's debut. Either way, I think it's good for iPhone users. Think about it, more iPhone users mean even more apps. That's what I am excited about.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 17:48 1

31. mendonorcal8380 (unregistered)

I think apple waited due to the fact that no matter when they do or do not decide to release this device it will be a hot ticket item. So time of year really has nothing to do with it.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 22:32

42. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)

They would choose the slowest quarter as that would generate more sales during the slow period.

posted on 31 Dec 2010, 06:08

53. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)

That would make sense if you took away the fact that everyone is on contracts. If contacts are renewed (which is what I said), you're asking people to then pay full price for the iPhone.

posted on 31 Dec 2010, 07:25

55. remixfa. (unregistered)

lol, if one of these analists actually got anything right, theyd be millionaires from betting stock futures.

i seriously doubt 1 million people are going to leave tmobile to go to VZW for a phone and pay that much more. If they wanted to do that, they would have went to ATT already. Same with sprint. If anything, you might see some people leaving ATT for sprint/tmobile because theyve moved on from the iphone and want android for less.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:31 1

2. jimmy658 (unregistered)

AS long as Spint is gaining customers slowly or losing just a small number at a time they will keep prices low and customer service high so I don't see this as a bad thing for Sprint.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:35

3. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

AT&T will be fine...maybe a few million customer less, but, more 3G data for me....

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:36

5. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Sprint is spending money like it is going out of style....let's hope they do not sink....

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:55 4

6. anynonomous23 (unregistered)

Not going to happen!!! VZW is not getting the iphone...goodness give it up already they have been saying it since 2007

posted on 31 Dec 2010, 11:31 1

59. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)

yeah, but this time they really really mean it

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 12:58 4

7. skymitch89 (Posts: 1363; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

What happened to "right after Christmas"?

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 13:03 1

8. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

I'm sticking with At&t eventhough I think Verizon offers better signals. Reason is, I use my iphone's internet a lot, and At&t's 3g internet is the fastest one right now. Also, I have an unlimited data plan with At&t which I do not want to lose. I will only switch if Verizon's iphone offers faster internet and unlimited data plan, and of course competitive rates.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 14:52 1

19. Daryl209 (Posts: 18; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)

Well....if the Verizon iPhone happens to be LTE, which would be stupid if it wasn't, that gives AT&T no leg to stand on anymore.

I really hope AT&T gets knocked down a peg.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 15:17 2

24. overratediphone (Posts: 26; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

they can't really go down many more pegs without turning into T-Mobile lol

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 19:45 1

34. yo uncle (unregistered)

what? Verizon does have unlimited data plans. $30 per month for unlimited data same as the iphone for AT&T. Their rates are very very similar in price. Even on non-smartphones..AT&T the fastest? Wow where are you? You must be in that one spot in your house where you actually get it! LOL

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 23:05

43. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

I haven't heard of verizon's unlimited data plan. Also, I was referring to at&t's 3g network being the fastest right now. Key word "3g". But if verizon does release an LTE iphone with unlimited data plan, I might jump ship and leave at&t for verizon.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 13:06 4

9. 4ghomie (unregistered)

Every month the date changed since the iPhone came out. It's just a running gag now

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 13:09

10. jenna_23 (Posts: 145; Member since: 02 Apr 2010)

i dont see why it cant happen if mexico is gettin one mexican carrier iusacell is a cdma carrier and on there website it says iphone 4 muy pronto (iphone 4coming soon) look it up if u dnt believe me . That iusacell company is cdma because they have all the same phones verizon has here in the states even if u click on the coverage map it clearly shows all the cdma evdo coverage tru out mexico no gsm coverage at all ... So yea thats why i think its possible that verizon cud get an iphone if mexico is gunna get one why not us?

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 21:40

37. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

@jenna_23 b/c this almighty contract that no one knows about exactly except At&t and Apple applies to the states only. Vodafone which is the parent company to Verizon Wireless has carried the iPhone 3GS for months. Not sure if they have the iP4 but the exclusivity is US-only.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 23:39

46. Gawain (Posts: 426; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

Vodafone is a minority holder of VZW (45%), Verizon Communications (the phone company has 55% and is the active controlling interest, Vodafone doesn't even draw much of a dividend).

To your main point though, I think you are spot on: If the Apple/AT&T contract is four years, then that would mean June 2011 (assuming both parties stick to terms). If it's a five year contract (which seems plausible to me), then we're talking 2012 at the earliest, at which point the Mayan calendar will be in full swing and VZW would only have it for six months anyway, and then the end of the world...unless there's an app to stop that... ;-P

posted on 31 Dec 2010, 00:45

48. fanboykiller (unregistered)

Jenna Iusacell is launching 3GSM network in Mexico, Iphone is not coming on CDMA apple wont waste time in a tech that is phasing out....!!!!!

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 13:40

11. hawk62 (Posts: 320; Member since: 21 Nov 2009)

Right after xmas, tomorrow, last week, before V-day, omg. It sounds like where i work. They dont say what year so they are right. Right after xmas 2011 pr 2020 whatever. I dont believe it anymore. Verizon is about as controlling as apple. The 2 will not get alone. Right now vz is making a killing on ipad since there are charging 3g price for a wifi ipad. But i doubt vz will get an iphone anythime soon.

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 16:47

28. DP (unregistered)

Verizon doesnt set the price for iPads, Apple does. It's the same price everywhere

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 21:48

38. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

is Verizon making a killing? when did they start making iPads or any device for that matter?

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 22:14

39. afireinside0016 (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

are you retarded? they sell them for the same price as everyone because apple names their price. they have a bundle thats the exact same price as the 3g at&t version, except verizons is faster and will actually get service. and the mifi lets you connect up to 4 other devices at the same time.

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