Apple 2.0

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Does AT&T turn into a pumpkin in June?

November 22, 2009: 10:35 AM ET

Its Cinderella contract with Apple for the iPhone runs out in seven months, says one analyst

Brian Marshall. Image: Bloomberg

Broadpoint AmTech's Brian Marshall, who has replaced Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster as the most bullish of the mainstream Apple analysts, made several assertions of fact in an Bloomberg TV interview Friday that -- if true -- struck me as newsworthy. Chief among them:

  • The contract that gives AT&T (T) exclusive access in the U.S. to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone expires in June 2010.
  • Apple is now getting a $450 subsidy from AT&T for each iPhone it sells; after June, that subsidy will be reduced to $300 for all carriers, domestic and international.
  • The 4% of AT&T subscribers who use the iPhone consume roughly 40% of the network's bandwidth.

Here and in a research note issued last late month, Marshall has been lobbying heavily for Apple to start selling the iPhone through Verizon (VZ). It turns out he may have personal reasons for doing so. He told Bloomberg's Pimm Fox that whenever he travels to New York or San Francisco with his iPhone he gets dropped calls "all the time."

"A very frustrating experience," he said, "but I'm not going to move away because Apple has their hooks into me"

You can hear all this, plus what Marshall has to say about the Chinese iPhone market, Windows 7's effect on Mac sales and Apple's 2010 earnings, in the interview posted below the fold.

UPDATE: Financial Alchemist's Turley Muller takes issue with virtually everything Marshall says in this interview. See here.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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