Now that’s it official, financial analysts are offering their estimates on how many Verizon iPhones will sell in 2011. The range: nine to 15 million units, according to “eWeek” (http://macte.ch/kWf71). However, this will all come at a price to Verizon Wireless.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Verizon could match AT&T in shipping as many as 15 million iPhones in 2011. Gleacher and Co.’s Brian Marshall told “eWEEK” that Verizon should sell 12 million iPhone units in 2011, assuming a similar ramp to what AT&T experienced in 2007 and 2008. And that number might actually prove conservative, Marshall said, adding that AT&T shipped 14.1 million iPhones in the fourth quarter alone.
“Some think 10 million is possible in the calendar year,” Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair told “AllThings Digital” (http://macte.ch/Gyp1a). “And I think it’s a reasonable assumption–not just because of what we’ve seen on AT&T but because you have three years of pent-up demand from users who are loyal to the Verizon network because of its coverage and reliability.”
Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe is quoting a nine-million figure, and of those he expects approximately 500,000 to one million to be purchased by AT&T switchers. He told “All Things D”: “We don’t believe that the addition of a Verizon iPhone will be a seismic event in the wireless competitive environment, although we do expect it to result in a modest spike in AT&T churn, as customers who love their iPhones but have become unhappy with AT&T’s network take advantage of the alternative.”
However, Verizon Wireless may spend $3 billion to $5 billion to subsidize customer purchases of the device this year, cutting into profits, reports “Bloomberg Businessweek” (http://macte.ch/hNzMC).
John Hodulik, an analyst at UBS AG. Hodulik said Verizon may sell 13 million iPhones with an estimated $400 subsidy this year, which would add up to a total of $5.2 billion. Under Ratcliffe’s nine million iPhone estimate, at a subsidy of about $350, that would add up to $3.2 billion this year.
Marquett Smith, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, declined to comment to “Bloomberg Businessweek” on any potential subsidies.
— Dennis Sellers