Regardless of when its next handset debuts, Apple should expect strong iPhone 4 sales into the future. This is especially true seeing the tech giant has secured 200 iPhone carriers worldwide, in news first reported by All Things Digital.

The iPhone 4, one-year old this week, might not get a replacement until later this year or next. But, this doesn’t mean demand for the handset will be in decline.

Rather, Apple has signed up lots of new carriers abroad, allowing it to “make up for any decline due to folks holding off on their iPhone 4 purchase for news of the iPhone 5, or 4s.”

According to Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs analyst:

“There has been some investor angst over how near-term iPhone shipments could trend if the iPhone is not refreshed until late this year. But we believe bears are failing to consider the continued underlying demand momentum for the iPhone 4, its international strength, and most important, continued carrier expansion.”

Since March, the number of iPhone carriers has jumped from 186 to 200.

This means iPhone sales can remain strong even without a refresh.

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