Shares of Verizon were hit on Thursday as analyst downgraded the firm on fears that Apple's venerable iPhone would not make it on its network this year.

Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin cut his rating on Verizon to Neutral from Outperform, and cut his target for the company to $30 from $32.

Our analysis suggests that Apple will eventually sell the device at all carriers; however, there is a much greater probability that AT&T keeps exclusivity for another 12-18 months than investors realize, he told clients.

We think this has profound impacts for Apple, the carriers and the other handset OEMs.

Analysts had originally predicted that ATT would lose its exclusive right to carry the phone this year. That would have led to a transfer of subscribers and value to Verizon.

We no longer think AT&T will lose iPhone exclusivity in mid-2010, with the value transfer and the catalyst we were counting on pushed out to mid-2011, at least.

Verizon dropped 1.3 percent, or 38 cents to $28.81 by mid-day trading.