Everything points to the fact that the long-rumoured Verizon-branded Apple iPhone is set to be announced tomorrow. And while this is not official yet, analysts have started to do their thing, i.e. make predictions what this will mean for AT&T, Verizon, Android and Apple.
UBS AG analyst John Hodulik says that Verizon may sell as many as 13 million iPhones this year, mainly to its existing customers, which is expected to bring Apple additional $5.2 billion in sales. On the other hand, AT&T is projected to sell more than 14 million iPhones in 2011.
“It’s going to be the dominant device at Verizon as soon as it’s launched, and, I think, cannibalize the other devices they sell.”
The largest US carrier has been a stronghold for Android-powered handsets and this has helped the green robot platform to move in second place (only after RIM) in the total subscribers table in the US. No doubt, this is bound to change with the imminent release of the Verizon iPhone, and, fittingly, CES has seen the announcement of some AT&T-bound Android-running heavyweights, like the Motorola ATRIX 4G, the Samsung Infuse 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G.
The most important question in this story seems to be whether Verizon’s network will manage the iPhone load. In fact, the iPhone’s official announcement for the largest US carrier is yet to happen, but AT&T has already released the “slow lane” remark, claiming that Verizon’s 3G network can’t manage the iPhone’s fast speeds.
It is claimed that Verizon is quite confident in its network capabilities, and believes it will face no problems with the extra data demand that the iPhone is set to bring. In the words of Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon:
“Whether they are iPhones or Droids, they are smartphones. Regardless of the mix, we are prepared to carry more data.”
There is no doubt that this claim is to be tested soon, since it’s reported that Big Red plans to offer unlimited data plans for the iPhone.
Time for your opinion – what major shifts are to come with the expected unveiling of the Verizon iPhone tomorrow?