Financial analysts are clamoring to place their bets on how many Apple iPhones Verizon Wireless will sell in 2011. The range: a modest 9 million to a whopping 15 million units.
That's the top question being asked in the wake of invites sent to media
for a Jan. 11 event in New York City that the
blogosphere claims will concern the launch of the popular Apple handset on the
No. 1 U.S. wireless network.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster acknowledges that he may have forecasted
on the conservative side just a few weeks ago and now says Verizon could match
AT&T in shipping as many as 15 million iPhones in 2011.
Dec. 15 that he expected Verizon to ship 9 million units
for 2011, with AT&T selling 11 million for a total of 20 million devices
Munster, who actually raised estimates 2.5 million units before he hedged
again Jan. 10, noted:
"Our raised estimates (from Dec.) may prove conservative. If we assume
iPhone units are flat y/y at AT&T with 15m units in CY11 and that Verizon
sells as many iPhones in CY11 as AT&T did in CY10 (15m), it would add 10m
units to our CY11 iPhone estimate, or $5.9b in revenue and $1.27 in EPS. . ."
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. Other
varying numbers to AllThingsDigital today.
Whether Verizon ships 9 million, 12 million or 15 million iPhones, it will
provide quite a boost to Apple's bottom line, and it comes at time when smartphones based
on Google's Android operating system
are outselling Apple iOS, according to comScore.
How will the Verizon iPhone impact AT&T's own iPhone sales? That
depends. Munster's current,
conservative model of 20 million iPhones sold (11M on AT&T, 9M on Verizon)
assumes a concrete Verizon iPhone launch for mid-February.
If the iPhone does not launch on Verizon in early or mid-2011, he sees
AT&T selling 17.5 million iPhones alone for the year.
"In other words, we believe Verizon will cannibalize about 6.5M iPhone
units from AT&T, but will also add an incremental 2.5M iPhones in
CY11," Munster concluded.
AT&T, which is sniping at Verizon today
by claiming a CDMA iPhone will be for
customers who don't mind slow phones, might fear a similar pattern.
The carrier vowed to ship
12 new Android smartphones this year, including the
Motorola Atrix 4G, Samsung Infuse 4G and HTC
How many iPhones will Verizon sell in 2011? This has turned into a fun
guessing game, so much so that we invite readers to respond below to the
question at hand.