Apple Had 186 iPhone Carriers at the End of March; Now It Has 200

Published on June 6, 2011
by John Paczkowski

IPhone sales are likely to remain strong regardless of how late or how soon Apple brings the next version of the device to the market this year.

And the reason, says Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope, is simple: Apple is adding lots of new carriers abroad. They’ll more than make up for any decline due to folks holding off on their iPhone 4 purchase for news of the iPhone 5 or 4s.

“There has been some investor angst over how near-term iPhone shipments could trend if the iPhone is not refreshed until late this year,” Shope said. “But we believe bears are failing to consider the continued underlying demand momentum for the iPhone 4, its international strength, and most important, continued carrier expansion.”

Aggressive expansion, actually. Since the end of the March quarter, AppleĀ has expanded the number of iPhone carriers to 200 from 186, according to company executives.

So 14 new customer bases in which to dip, further juicing sales of the device.

“This [increase] suggests that carrier expansion continues, and may actually be accelerating,” Shopes concludes. “As such, we believe iPhone shipments can remain robust through this summer, even with a delayed product refresh.”

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