The Verizon/iPhone (News - Alert) rumors continue to circulate, whether it is stakeholders hoping to drive the market or simply users wanting it to be true. According to a report in the New York Times, Apple (News - Alert) is gearing up to build its first 3 million CDMA iPhones.
While it may not be any big surprise that Apple is building phones, the key here is that this design would ensure that they would work on the Verizon (News - Alert) network. The AppleInsider claims it will be ready to go by December. This “inside” information was made available by Jeffrey Fidacarao with Susquehanna Financial Group, which recently sent to investors a note based on checks with suppliers overseas. If the rumors are true, Apple would be in an excellent position to release an iPhone ready for Verizon early in 2011.
According to Fidacaro, Apple will build between 21 million and 22 million iPhones for the first quarter of 2011 and roughly 18.3 million iPhones this quarter. The company was able to ramp up production this quarter due to display panel issues with LG, which have been resolved. Apple should sell 11.6 million iPhones this quarter – which would be a 39 percent increase from the 8.4 million sold last quarter.
This report hits on the heels of a report out of Bloomberg (News - Alert) that Verizon is preparing to offer the iPhone in January. If this happens, according to Credit Suisse, AT&T could lose as many as 1.4 million users to Verizon, just in early 2011. When surveyed, 23 percent of iPhone users say they would switch immediately and 18 percent would wait for the end of the contract.
TMCnet recently reported
that investors are worried about the exclusive deal AT&T
has with Apple
for the iPhone. And, given the headaches the networks have had in the recent past, it is no surprise that rumors may swirl around the industry that a competitor – such as Verizon
– may be better suited to usher in a new iPhone era. AT&T (News - Alert) is certain it will be fine as so many of its users are under contract, but that truly only protects the company for a little while. The loss of exclusivity of the iPhone will definitely hurt AT&T.Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.