Will they or won’t they? And if they will, when?
One of the most important questions in the tech and telecom sector is whether or not Apple will give the iPhone to Verizon. There are all types of cross-currents and nuances to the debate. There are also billions of dollars on the line for all the players involved in this melodrama…
AT&T – Apple’s current steady, in an exclusive relationship with Apple for the iPhone. Everyone thought exclusivity would be over this year, but with their just announced partnership on the new iPad, inquiring minds are now thinking that their love affair has been rekindled.
Verizon – Is somewhere on the border of jealousy and psycho-stalker territory and wants iPhone so bad they can taste it. Can be found running commercials depicting iPhone as a misfit toy because of the network it runs on (not Verizon’s). Received a downgrade from Credit Suisse this morning and estimate cuts in light of what the analyst now believes is a continued romance between Apple and AT&T.
Research In Motion – Possibly the big winner out of a continued iPhoneless Verizon as customers not willing to switch providers continue to buy BlackBerries.
T-Mobile – Just kidding, nobody really takes T-Mobile seriously. Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ascot Off.
Here’s what Credit Sweeeeese’s analyst had to say on the love triangle via Eric Savitz (Tech Trader Daily):
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin this morning cut his rating on Verizon (VZ) to Neutral from Outperform, and cut his target on the stock to $30, from $32. His primary reason: a shift in his thinking on when AT&T (T) will lose its exclusive hold on the Apple (AAPL) iPhone in the U.S.
“Our analysis suggests that Apple will eventually sell the device at all carriers; however, there is a much greater probability that AT&T keeps exclusivity for another 12-18 months than investors realize,” he writes. “We think this has profound impacts for Apple, the carriers and the other handset OEMs.”
But the good news is, just like Ross’s infatuation with Rachel (yes, I’m dropping Friends references, deal with it) didn’t go unrequited forever, eventually Apple will decide that yes, they’d like to TRIPLE their iPhone sales and they will bring Verizon to their bed. What a weird post this was.
$AAPL $RIMM $T $VZ