John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Analyst: No Verizon iPhone Until Second Half of 2011

Apple’s iPhone may be headed to Verizon, but it’s not going on sale there in January as some reports claim. It can’t. Because AT&T won’t have lost iPhone exclusivity by then.

So says Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan, who reached that conclusion after some investor meetings with AT&T (T) CFO Rick Lindner. “The company gave some solid reasons as to why the iPhone will not affect its financial results all that much, but also why Verizon is unlikely to get it until the second half of 2011, or later,” he said in a research note this morning.

One big reason: Apple’s (AAPL) quality and design aesthetic, which might be undermined by the requirements of a LTE- or CDMA-capable iPhone.

“If Apple makes a CDMA iPhone, it will probably not be as streamlined as AT&T’s iPhone 4 (different capabilities and it will not be as fast a network),” Horan writes. “As to the probability of an LTE iPhone device, AT&T made a bunch of good technical points on why Apple may have to wait until LTE technology matures from an OS and technology perspective. In addition the device will probably be larger (given the three different technologies that it would need to support and a larger battery), which will not make Apple happy.”

That said, Horan believes the long-rumored Verizon (VZ) iPhone is an inevitability. “The fact that AT&T moved up its upgrade cycle for current iPhone subscribers and increased early termination fees is a major signal that Verizon will be carrying the iPhone sometime next year. And in reality Apple could probably sell 10 million devices to Verizon’s customers over a 12 to 18 month period.”