Verizon iPhone unveiling next week? Not.January 20, 2010: 10:39 AM ET
Manufacturing would begin in March for delivery in June, says an analyst
UPDATE: This article was posted on January 20, 2010, in advance of the unveiling of the iPad. The announcement of a Verizon iPhone that Misek was anticipating did not happen. Water under the bridge. Maybe next year.
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"We believe there is a good chance," writes Canaccord Adams' Peter Misek in a note to clients Wednesday, "that the 'One more thing...' part of next week's presentation may include two iPhone-related announcements: namely, the release of iPhone OS 4.0 and the unveiling of iPhone 4G coming to Verizon in June."
Leaving aside Steve Jobs' penchant for saving his best for last -- in this case probably his new tablet computer -- there is reason to believe that Misek may be on to something.
If as numerous reports have it Apple's (AAPL) exclusive contract with AT&T (T) expires in the second half of 2010 -- freeing Apple to cut a deal with Verizon (VZ) -- manufacturing of a new type of iPhone that can run on Verizon's CDMA network would have to begin soon.
And that's what Misek has been hearing:
"Together with our semi-conductor partners," he writes, "we have ascertained that there is a reasonable chance the Asian supply chain is prepping for mass production of a new iPhone in March, for availability in late Q2, likely June. The phone will be carried on Verizon and hence will operate on the CDMA network; however, it will also support European GSM and HSPA standards."
In addition, he says:
- A 4GS iPhone that will support LTE (long-term evolution) is likely to arrive a year later, in June 2011.
- Tiered data plans are imminent, he believes, including an unlimited data plan from Verizon.
- He hears (and we read Tuesday in the Boy Genius Report) that the new iPhone OS will support "OS wide multi-touch gestures, multitasking, introduce graphical UI changes to simplify navigation, and possibly a new way to sync the contacts and calendar apps."
Misek is forecasting sales of more than 37 million iPhones for fiscal 2010, which is about par for a mainstream analyst.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]