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Summary:

According to a study released, almost 17 percent of current Verizon customers have an “extreme interest” in getting an iPhone. This connotes a huge financial return for Verizon when you realize that Verizon has 90 million customers. There is a lot of money at stake here.

iphone-3gs

Followers of smartphone technology are no doubt tired of hearing the seemingly endless rumors that the iPhone is going to appear on carriers other than AT&T in the U.S. There have been at least one rumor for each carrier, and even some speculation that all U.S. carriers would be seeing the iPhone this year. Why so much speculation about this? The answer is revealed in a study found by an analyst at Morgan Stanley – big money.

According to the study almost 17 percent of current Verizon customers have an “extreme interest” in getting an iPhone should the carrier offer the phone. That figure connotes a huge financial return for Big Red when you realize that Verizon has 90 million customers. When you carry the study results to a natural conclusion, there are 15.3 million customers that want a Verizon iPhone. That’s a lot of phones sold for Apple, and a huge annual return for Verizon on subscription fees.

Verizon might rake in big fees with an iPhone, but Apple wouldn’t mind reaping its rewards, either. It could expect to sell 7 -8 million iPhones a year to Verizon customers. This is enough to help Apple’s smartphone growth to increase almost 10 percent a year over the 26 percent currently held. These numbers are big enough that there might be some behind-the-scenes discussions to bring that AT&T exclusivity to a close. Perhaps we’ll hear more on June 7th when Steve Jobs gives the keynote at the WWDC.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Google Takes the Open Battle to Apple on Multiple Fronts

  1. Is it a surprise? If you’re on Verizon, you’re probably at least somewhat wealthy and can afford the data plan.

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  2. Yeah, but let’s redo the survey once Sprint’s HTC Evo comes out next week!

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  3. My dad wants an iPhone. In my circle of friends and relatives, it’s the older folks (70+) who really take well to Apple products. I think it’s all the cartoon-type pictures. I bought Dad an iPad and my mom took it over. She loves how simple it is. Non-techie and works.

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  4. At what price are those 17% of VZW customers actually willing to buy the iPhone? Extreme interest doesn’t equal intent to purchase, and intent to purchase must be tied to a specific price.
    If VZW has to subsidize the price down to $99 to get them to buy, and the resulting data usage crushes the network like what happened to AT&T, then I wonder if it is really that great of a win for Big Red?

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  5. Based on my poor coverage experience, I’d bet 83% of AT&T iPhone customers want Verizon. And everyone wants the pricing / plans offered by Sprint. Sadly, there is no perfect combination.

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  6. Forget the Iphone and it’s lack of user changeable battery, flash, etc. I am a Verizon customer and I want that new DELL Streak (formerly “Mini 5″).

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