iPhone 5 Likely 4G for AT&T, Not Verizon Analyst

Many say its too soon to tell, but AT&T might have weathered the storm of losing iPhone exclusivity.

While speculation runs wild again as to whether Apple will announce the fifth-generation iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, at least one analyst says AT&T has not only held its own since the release of the Verizon iPhone earlier this year, but its future against its wireless rival is bright.

Analyst firm Hudson Square predicts the next-generation iPhone which most are calling the 4S will be compatible with AT&Ts 4G network the HSPA+ network it calls 4G but not Verizons 4G LTE network, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

AT&T, meanwhile, announced last week that its high-speed LTE network would make its debut in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer, reaching 70 million Americans by the end of the year.

The iPhone has been one reason for Verizons stock jump in the past year up 36 percent. But surprisingly, AT&T hasnt lagged far behind, approaching a 30 percent hike in the past 12 months. And Hudson Square expects a new iPhone that favors AT&Ts ”4G” speeds over Verizons 3G CDMA network would be a coup for the carrier enough so that it has upgraded AT&Ts stock-investment rating from hold” to buy” and downgraded Verizons from hold” to sell.”

We might argue that this prognosis of AT&Ts health in relation to the iPhone is a bit premature. Many owners are still tied up in AT&T contracts and havent had a chance to switch to Verizon without taking on a significant cancellation fee. But AT&T might be able to wash away all talk of its oft-bashed, unreliable network if the new iPhone is compatible with its HSPA+ network and if its LTE debut is successful this summer.

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