The occupation of analyst is a precarious one. Make a bold prediction and everyone takes notice. It doesn’t really matter if it ends up true or not but it definitely gets the world to stop and ponder. That’s exactly what Wall Street analyst Brian Marshall of BroadPoint AmTech has done by theorizing that the iPhone’s arrival on the Verizon Wireless network will be delayed 6 months to the first part of 2011.
It has long been considered that this summer would mark the end of AT&T’s exclusive hold on the iPhone. After three years as the sole provider of Apple’s beloved device, many had hoped for a choice when it came to carrier support. Several analysts (Marshall included) had made predictions earlier in the year that had the phone opening up to multiple carriers. However, when the iPad 3G rights were given exclusively to AT&T, in spite of mounting evidence that Verizon would be included as well, Marshall began backtracking on the Verizon iPhone.
According to Marshall, it all stems around AT&T’s negotiations with the iPad. By securing a very attractive prepaid 3G data plan that gave customers access to data at half the cost of traditional wireless broadband access plans, AT&T was essentially able to buy themselves an additional six months of owning the sole rights to sell the iPhone.
While rumors of a Verizon iPhone have been swirling for as long as the iPhone has been around, this perspective from another analyst does sound reasonably plausible. It’s one person’s opinion but if true, the line in the sand will continue to be drawn especially in light of Verizon’s tremendous support of Android and Apple’s ongoing battle with Google. We’ve seen Big Red’s approach to marketing the Droid and it hasn’t been all too cordial. With 6 additional months to wait out, the battle will only heat up especially during another critical holiday period.
Unless of course, Steve Jobs uses his “one more thing” at WWDC to prove everyone wrong.