Piper Jaffray: Verizon iPhone to sell 9 million units in 2011

In a new research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that Apple will sell approximately 9 million iPhone handsets through Verizon Wireless next year. While the figure seems low considering AT&T sold 5.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2010 alone, Munster’s numbers are conservative, as he believes the iPhone will have much stiffer competition on Verizon’s shelves than it does in AT&T stores. Munster thinks Verizon Wireless will sell approximately 25 million smartphones next year, and expects the iPhone to account for roughly 36% of sales. He goes on to write that sales of the iPhone through AT&T will be cannibalized by the Verizon launch, and projections have been adjusted from 17.5 million to 11 million units in 2011. This would bring total U.S. iPhone sales for the year to 20 million, or just 2.5 million units more than projected 2010 totals. Munster does note, however, that these estimates may be conservative.

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