According to analysts, pent-up demand from Verizon Wireless cutomers for the upcoming iPhone 5 could push sales on the network far higher than originally forecast.
Verizon hasn't performed as well as expected since the iPhone 4 was introduced, and many market observers are wondering how the sales graphics are going to look this time.
While in the first half of this year the main competitor AT&T activated 7.2 million iPhones, Verizon only sold on its network 4.5 million iPhones. In July, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company might be "a quarter behind on its goal to reach its smartphone targets because it had banked on an iPhone 5 being launched in the summer".
But the tables are expected to turn, according to Gene Muster, analyst for Piper Jeffray (opens in new tab). A recent survey by the company indicates that 75 percent of Verizon subscribers are waiting for the next-generation iPhone; in contrast, for AT&T the figure is significantly lower at 53 percent.
In February 2011, when the iPhone 4 was included in Verizon's retail offerings, Apple's handset had already been available for customers at other wireless carriers for 6 months.
The repressed demand, the analyst suggests, could lead Verizon to sell 4.4 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2011. In addition, the subsidised prices, $129 for the iPhone 5, and $99 for the iPhone 4, as a special offer, could additionally entice customers.