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Here’s a number you can probably expect to hear at today’s WWDC keynote: 200. That’s how many carriers are now handling Apple’s iPhone, a number that was only 186 at the end of March. Can anything stop this juggernaut?
AllThingsD is reporting that the absence of a new iPhone model this month, or even through the end of the year, isn’t likely to stop Apple’s freight train. That’s because they still have countries overseas who haven’t been invited to the iPhone party, meaning there’s plenty of room for continued growth in the near future -- new model or not.
At least that’s the opinion of Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope, who notes that Apple is adding overseas carriers at a rapid clip, which is certain to make up for current iPhone users playing the waiting game for the next model.
“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 explains. “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.”
Just how fast is Apple expanding internationally? At the end of the March quarter, the company reported 186 carriers worldwide. Now, just a little over two months later, and that number has jumped to 200, meaning there are 14 new carriers from which to collect new customers.
“This [increase] suggests that carrier expansion continues, and may actually be accelerating,” the analyst concludes. “As such, we believe iPhone shipments can remain robust through this summer, even with a delayed product refresh.”
There have been rumblings that Apple may introduce an iPhone 4S -- think of a refreshed model of the current iPhone 4 with an A5 processor and better cameras -- perhaps as Steve Jobs’ famed “one more thing” section of the WWDC keynote, but most pundits are looking ahead to September before we’re likely to see a new model.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AllThingsD)