Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) shares jumped to an almost 4-month high after renewed reports of the pending arrival of a CDMA version of the iPhone, but now analysts say any deal with Apple (NASD: AAPL) likely won’t see a CDMA iPhone in US stores before the end of the year.
Credit Suisse’s Bill Shope wrote in a research report “We wouldn’t count on a Verizon iPhone for the holidays,” adding that a device may be in the works, but that Apple won’t be supporting Verizon until 2011 (WSJ blog). UBS analysts Maynard Um also noted a Verizon phone would be unlikely this year, but that a CDMA phone could be launched with international operators in Asia, such as China Telecom and KDDI later this year. (MacObserver).
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky said that a subsidized iPhone on the Verizon network would add 5 million to 6 million units of sales in the first year, or about $3.6 billion in revenue and 75 cents EPS for Apple. He also believes that a CDMA iPhone could be launched for China Telecom or KDDI before Verizon (AppleInsider).
Hudson Square Research analysts Todd Rethemeier and Scott Tilghman said Verizon may not even be the one to get the iPhone in the US apart from current carrier AT&T (NYSE: T). “If the CDMA version isn’t ready until late 2010 or early 2011, and if AT&T’s exclusivity expires this summer, we would not be surprised to see the iPhone being sold by T-Mobile” this year, they wrote (WSJ blog).
JMP analysts write that the news is clearly bullish for Qualcomm.But in a note downgrading Qualcomm shares on March 26, CLSA analysts wrote, “the much-speculated CDMA iPhone win should have a limited impact as we believe that it could cannibalize other CDMA smartphones at Verizon” (WSJ blog).