Apple may release its iPhone to all US carriers according to new analysis, paving the way to nearly triple the devises sold.
T-Mobile stands to receive the phone this summer, while Verizon and Sprint will come next, according to research done by Oppenheimer analyst Tim Horan.
Currently AT&T is the only authorized carrier in the United States, following an exclusive relationship in place since 2007.
We believe AT&T's iPhone exclusivity arrangement with Apple will be expiring by mid-2010, Horan wrote. For wireless carriers, customers are demanding the device and they need to remain competitive.
The research seems to confirm similar sentiment by Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek, who last week said Apple suppliers are already ramping up production for a CDMA iPhone -- the network standard of Verizon.
If Horan's findings are correct, there will be a big surge in wireless data traffic, and with it new demand for towers, data centers and fiber providers, he says.
iPhone sales in the U.S. would increase by 15 million to 25 million units annually, and would pressure operator margins because of higher subsidy costs, he said.
Adding the iPhone would also likely boost carriers' capital spending on network upgrades by as much as $3 billion to support increases in data usage, he said.
Apple reports its quarterly earnings after markets close today.
Apple is up 2.77 percent, or $5.47 to $203.22.