Credit Suisse Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin thinks we can expect Apple's iPhone to remain exclusive to AT&T for an additional 12-18 months, long past some people's expectations (and recent rumors). Not only will it remain exclusive, Chaplin says, but the delay will have a major negative impact on Verizon, causing him to lower his rating on Big Red from "Outperform" to "Neutral" and cut his share price target from $32 to $30.
"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," Chaplin wrote. "We think this has profound impacts for Apple, the carriers and the other handset OEMs."
Credit Suisse is 75% certain that AT&T will keep their stranglehold on iPhone for the rest of this calendar year.
"We conclude there is only a 50% probability that it (exclusivity) ends in 2010," Chaplin wrote. "Next, we try to determine whether AT&T bids for another year of exclusivity if exclusivity does end in 2010. We conclude they would and they can afford to compensate Apple such that Apple would be economically indifferent. Our approach yields a 25% probability for this outcome. Taken together, we see a 75% probability that AT&T keeps exclusivity for another year."
Those of us here at TiPb have often wondered "analyst" predictions were any more reliable than magic 8-ball results, so we will ask you, our readers -- will we ever see an iPhone on Verizon or is Steve out to bury them for rejecting the iPhone the first time around? Sound off in the comments!