Recently Merrill Lynch published a white paper on how much the iPhone means to AT&T and the potential effect of AT&T losing their monopoly (maybe as early as mid-2010). A lot depends, of course, if there is going to be a CDMA version of the iPhone.
Here is a summary of their analysis and comments.
- approximately 11.5 million iPhone subscribers in the USA (3Q09)
- iPhone subscribers comprise 18% of AT&T’s postpaid subscribers
- the iPhone has driven an 8% uplift in gross add share for AT&T
- the iPhone has taken market share away form AT&T’s base but at much higher ARPU
- because there is little churn associated with the iPhone, the overall churn numbers for AT&T have decreased.
- the iPhone has been the primary driver of data ARPU growth for AT&T.
The M/L’s analysis treats the iPhone as the only game in town, but with the success of Android-based phones (G1, G2 and ‘Droid) finally giving Apple a run for its money, this is not the case. While these phones have approximately 15-20% of the market share of the iPhone, they do have momentum and a catalog of applications that is beginning to rival Apple’s if not in quantity at least in quality.