Will Verizon Have a Q3 iPhone Launch?
Will Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) unveil a 3G CDMA iPhone at its worldwide developers conference in a couple of weeks? Maybe, and one financial analyst suggests that the evidence points to an autumn launch for a new variant of the world-beating smartphone.
JP.MorganChase analyst Rod Hall wrote to clients that he believes that owners of the Verizon Wireless iPhone will be crunching through the autumn leaves rather than basking in the summer sun with their shiny new gadget.
Key among his reasons is the way that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has just changed its early termination fee (ETF) on the iPhone. The carrier has raised the ETF on the phone from $175 to $325 but only on units purchased after June 1. Hall suggests that this is to try and lock in high-value users who have typically bought new iPhones as soon as they released in the summer.
"Most of the highest value iPhone users are on a summer cycle," Hall writes. "This means that those same high-value users will be wanting to upgrade this summer, and AT&T has just made it more painful for them to leave later in the year - so if you are a geek like me, you are going to be tempted not to wait for a Verizon iPhone later in the year and will then find yourself locked in tight when/if it does finally come."
Verizon, meanwhile, has been increasing its CDMA network spend even though it is readying a new -- and expensive -- LTE network in up to 30 markets for later this year. "We saw every supplier of CDMA equipment to Verizon having a banner quarter in Q1 and indicating that Q2 also looks good on the CDMA front," Hall wrote.
"So while I still believe there is a chance of a June 7 WWDC announcement, I consider it much more likely that news will come sometime in Q3."
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile