Verizon’s version of iPhone to be unveiled next week

Manufacturing would begin in March for delivery in June, says an analyst

by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

“We believe there is a good chance,” writes Canaccord Adams’ Peter Misek in a note to clients Wednesday, “that the ‘One more thing…’ part of next week’s presentation may include two iPhone-related announcements: namely, the release of iPhone OS 4.0 and the unveiling of iPhone 4G coming to Verizon in June.”

Leaving aside Steve Jobs’ penchant for saving his best for last — in this case probably his new tablet computer — there is reason to believe that Misek may be on to something.

If as numerous reports have it Apple’s (AAPL) exclusive contract with AT&T (T) expires in the second half of 2010 — freeing Apple to cut a deal with Verizon (VZ) — manufacturing of a new type of iPhone that can run on Verizon’s CDMA network would have to begin soon.

And that’s what Misek has been hearing:

“Together with our semi-conductor partners,” he writes, “we have ascertained that there is a reasonable chance the Asian supply chain is prepping for mass production of a new iPhone in March, for availability in late Q2, likely June. The phone will be carried on Verizon and hence will operate on the CDMA network; however, it will also support European GSM and HSPA standards.”

In addition, he says:

A 4GS iPhone that will support LTE (long-term evolution) is likely to arrive a year later, in June 2011.

Tiered data plans are imminent, he believes, including an unlimited data plan from Verizon.

He hears that the new iPhone OS will support “OS wide multi-touch gestures, multitasking, introduce graphical UI changes to simplify navigation, and possibly a new way to sync the contacts and calendar apps.”

Misek is forecasting sales of more than 37 million iPhones for fiscal 2010, which is about par for a mainstream analyst.


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