***This story was updated to clarify that the CDMA numbers are for the whole year; the GSM numbers are for the first quarter.***
Expect to see 12 million to 15 million CDMA iPhone ship this year, if word from the Taiwanese manufacturing community holds true, signaling a major victory for Verizon Wireless.
Pegatron, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the CDMA iPhone, is gearing up for that large run-rate, components makers told DigiTimes. That’s up from the previous internal predictions of 10 million shipped earlier in the year and double the expectations in late December, when 6 million CDMA phones were expected to ship, to Verizon.
If GSM-version predictions from late December hold steady, total shipments of GSM iPhones will reach between 21 and 22 million globally for the first quarter, signaling some nice traction for the CDMA version in its first year. Surprising traction, actually: 15 million CDMA iPhone 4s, more than half of first quarter sales, is not chump change, particularly considering the GSM version’s broad base of carriers. However, Verizon Wireless does have 93 million customers to tap and who knows how many disgruntled AT&T-ers to court.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently pegged the number of iPhones Verizon would sell the first year at 9 million.
Existing Verizon customers can preorder the iPhone 4 starting February 3. The phone includes the HotSync personal mobile hotspot for tethering up to five Wi-Fi devices. And word on the street is that Verizon plans to unveil unlimited pricing plans which, if affordable enough vis a vis AT&T, could cause a spike in shipments right out of the gate.