Analyst sees Apple iPhone on additional U.S. carriers within a year; iTunes TV show subscriptions

Apple Online Store “In his latest note to investors, Gene Munster, senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray, takes on 14 ‘unanswered questions’ that surround Apple,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “They address the company’s financial guidance, the iPhone, iTunes, iPods and Apple retail stores. One prediction suggests Apple would add new iPhone carriers in the U.S. with the debut of a new product in the summer of 2010.”

Hughes reports, “‘For various reasons the company moved from an exclusive relationship with French wireless carrier Orange to a multi-carrier model,’ Munster said. ‘In France, the company now enjoys dramatically higher market share (in the 40 percent range vs. about 15 percent in ROW) than in countries with exclusive carrier agreements (such as AT&T in the U.S. where the iPhone has market share in the mid-teens). We believe Apple is seeing the increased unit sell-through more than offset the slightly (~10 percent) deteriorated economics per unit involved in non-exclusive agreements.'”

In addition, “Munster believes that Apple will eventually offer a monthly subscription offer for TV shows on iTunes. At a cost of $30 to $40 a month, he said the company could offer unlimited access to content from network and cable providers. If the Cupertino, Calif., company were to offer a subscription model, he believes it would replace a consumer’s cable bill,” Hughes reports.

Read more in the full article here.


  1. $30 a month subscription would not be competitive with Netflix. You can get something similar for $9 a month with the caveat that the latest and greatest won’t be available straightaway.

    I’ve spent most of the last month of my evenings watching the first 4 seasons of Lost in HD on Netflix. Very good quality and few issues with connectivity.

  2. Yeah, hell would really have to freeze over for the iphone to be on verizon or any other carrier that apple approached before the deal with AT&T;. They all had their chance to make a deal, and they all thought it was better to piss into the wind and to bet against Apple and Steve. Well, look where they are now, lost and confused. I’d say, Apple will renew with AT&T;and say to hell with these other carriers.

  3. @Joe
    I don’t think Apple care about prior history. They want to increase the install base of the iPhone as much as possible. The iPhone has proved itself to be an attractive product and any carrier would be willing to go along with Apple’s rules.

    If they double their sales by adding more carriers then that is a good thing.

    If Apple have a goal it is to break the hold the carriers have on phone makers. They have done that with ATT now it’s time for the others to submit.

  4. The issue that I see with the subscription model for videos, is that the cable companies would flip out over it. They’ve already said they want to cap Internet usage, this would be the straw that broke the camels back to them, especially if they lost cable subscribers in any kind of volume. I’m pretty sure that’s why Apple hasn’t done it yet. Either they need to work with the cable companies to keep the internet open or they need to provide their own pipeline for people to subscribe to.

  5. DogGone,
    I think it is obvious with the number of attempts at cloning the iphone, that the carriers have no intention at bending over backward to accommodate the control that apple wants over the process. I am also pretty sure that Steve is still pissed at these carriers for not showing the respect to him and Apple that they both deserved. I really do predict that Steve is going to do to these other carriers with the iphone, what they do to dell and the pc industry with OSX. A nice big FU, which I completely and understandably agree with. AT&T;may be behind, but the money rolling in is going to gradually make AT&T;number one in carriers. It is an investment in time and patience. I just don’t see Steve allowing the phone on any other carrier than AT&T;. We will see soon enough when Apple agrees to another 5 year exclusivity agreement. Then we will continue to hear the whiners complain about how they have to switch carriers or how much they still hate AT&T;. Eventually, they will switch anyway, if they want the phone bad enough, which apple will continue to innovate and use to entice people to do. Eventually, the iphone will have features so enticing, people will make the switch, and as AT&T;’s market share continues to grow, and the iphone’s features continue to grow, it will really begin to look like a one sided fight. I simply don’t see Apple going to any other carrier. I also don’t see them caring about having the phone on every carrier, that simply doesn’t seem like the goal. It seems more likely that they will buy a carrier and offer the services themselves.

  6. I have a lot of respect for Gene Munster, as he has been consistently one of the most reasonable analysts out there. However, for the foreseeable future, Apple has no reason to go outside of AT&T. They are still selling them faster than they can make them. The price they have with AT&T will be impossible to reach elsewhere (and difficult to keep at AT&T, should the exclusivity go. Add to that the length of a grudge that Steve Jobs can hold, and it’s clear to me that the situation will remain the same for some time.

    However, if foreign numbers are any indication, giving up `0% of your profit margins on a device in order to sell noticeably more devices will eventually be a consideration for Apple. If “competition” (other smartphones, if they could be called that in the first place) continues to attract significant numbers (especially on other carriers), it would be bad business not to do it.

    For now, though, it’s working fine, so no change.

  7. All cell phone carriers are the scum of the earth.

    ATandT makes Rogers in Canada look like the devil’s spawn.

    If the carriers can come to an agreement with Apple that Apple can live with, then Apple will deal with the devil.

    Remember, G4 is universal and every carrier will be an option for Apple in 2010 as long as they upgrade to a G4 signal.

  8. AT&T;has been absolutely great for me. Outstanding customer service and very good coverage that gets better all the time. I switched and found the company far better than my old one. I will likely stay even if there is a nonexclusive deal.

  9. Interestingly, Apple currently sells iPhones with multiple carriers in at least 2 countries (France and Australia) and a third (Israel) is coming in October.

    While subsidies may be less, I’m sure they more than make it up in units sold, so it’s probably a safe bet that other countries will eventually have multiple carriers selling the iPhone. However, it’s not so clear if that will happen in the U.S. for the reasons stated above (i.e., Steve’s long memory and A.T.&T;. not wanting to share the goose who lays the golden eggs).

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