Rumors of the iPhone landing on Verizon Wireless have been swirling
for years, nearly as long as the original iPhone has been out. With LTE
on the horizon and a next generation iPhone expected at next month's WWDC, VZW is in a good position. Of course, it's rumored that AT&T's exclusivity contract still runs until 2012, but we suspect there's nothing that cannot be changed when enough money is involved.
A new report looking into the interest of a Verizon
iPhone has discovered results that aren't entirely shocking, but if these numbers were to translate into sales if a Verizon iPhone did indeed surface, America's largest wireless carrier would get way, way bigger in a hurry. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has stated: "According to our [Alphawise U.S. consumer iPhone survey], there is substantial pent up iPhone demand within the Verizon installed base as 16.8% of Verizon subscribers said they are ‘very likely’ to purchase an iPhone if offered on the Verizon Network. This 16.8% is higher than AT&T subscriber’s 14.6% extreme interest in the current AT&T iPhone, and well above the overall iPhone extreme interest of 7.5%."
Contrary to the belief of many, a Verizon iPhone
probably wouldn't mean that loads of AT&T users would jump ship. Many are tied to family plans and business accounts, which means that leaving for another carrier is often too complicated to endure. What it may mean, however, is that AT&T's smartphone user growth would slow dramatically, as free-of-contract consumers may gravitate towards Verizon's larger 3G network in order to avoid the dropped calls and such that are so often associated with AT&T's network.
Either way, it'll be interesting to see what happens when the iPhone does eventually head to another U.S. carrier. Will AT&T lose a lot of subscribers? Will loads of dumb-phone users sign up for an iPhone on another carrier? Hopefully we won't have to wait long to find out.