New York - Apple and Verizon gave a belated Christmas gift to millions today with the news the iPhone will be available on the Verizon network in February.
The news was announced this morning at a press conference held here. The iPhone was originally introduced in January 2007 with AT&T as its exclusive carrier.
As for the immediate impact, Stephen Baker, The NPD Group's VP of industry analysis believes Verizon's initial iPhone sales will come from its own customer base.
"Most of the projections show that most of the iPhone volume for Verizon in the short-term will be upgrades from their own customers as people coming off contract choose the iPhone instead of a Blackberry, Droid or Android device," he said.
This in turn will give a boost to iPhone sales as new people are brought into the Apple fold, he added.
AT&T did anticipate this move by Apple and in response protected its own customer base from being pillaged by locking up iPhone users with early upgrades offered in conjunction with the iPhone 4 launch.
AT&T activated 3.2 million iPhones in during its fiscal third quarter for a total of 7.2 million for the first three quarters of 2010.