Guggenheim Securities analyst Shing Yin:
We believe Apple may have decided not to release an LTE iPhone
last year in part because it did not want to cede any leverage to
Verizon, which had the clear lead in LTE deployment. We think
Apple preferred to see AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all offer
essentially the same iPhone, so that it maximizes the role of the
device (rather than the network) in consumers’ purchasing
This is not how Apple works. Apple will release an LTE iPhone when they can make one that meets Apple’s own standards for performance, battery life, price, and manufacturing scalability. It’s that simple. Tim Cook explained this a year ago, when the Verizon iPhone 4 was introduced.
The other thing that Yin’s analysis seemingly ignores is the rest of the world. Apple sells the same iPhone 4S everywhere. Verizon and AT&T do dominate the U.S. carrier market, but from a global perspective, they’re just two big carriers among dozens.
★ Thursday, 12 January 2012