Apple's iPhone could dominate the world's smartphone market - if the company can dump those exclusivity deals, such as the one it has with AT&T in the U.S. I've more or less said that in the past, too - that exclusivity deal with AT&T in the U.S. is holding the iPhone back. This time it's Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty, normally a bit of an Apple bear, who's talking about Apple's iPhone potential in an unusually bullish note to investors today. According to a post on Fortune's Brainstorm Tech blog, Huberty wrote:
We expect Apple to broaden iPhone carrier distribution over the next two years and believe this opportunity is under-appreciated by the investment community. This total opportunity is substantial — it adds up to an incremental 20.3M iPhone units and $3.76 in adjusted EPS, 100% and 41% of iPhone units and adjusted EPS respectively.
She notes, in particular, the 136 percent market share gain in France after the iPhone's exclusive deal with Orange ended. New markets in China, as well as as expanded carrier agreements in the U.K. could deliver similar growth. But don't expect multi-carrier deals in the U.S. right away. Huberty doesn't expect a deal with Verizon until sometime in 2011 when the company rolls out its 4G services.
Personally, I hope she's wrong on that front. I'm looking for a deal with Verizon in 2010 - and am currently sitting on a no-commitment contract with Verizon, waiting - like a fool - for the big day to arrive.
I know... What a sucker.
Also see: AT&T: The iPhone's anchor
Analyst: Apple to offer iPhone on U.S. carriers within a year; replace cable with iTunes subscriptions