Apple yesterday confirmed long-rumoured plans to bring its iPhone 4 to the Verizon network in the US.
For app developers, the Verizon deal would likely mean between 5 and 7 million potential new customers, according to projections by PRTM consultant Day Hays. That would be in addition to the 15 million current iPhone users on AT&T.
Previously, the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T, whose GSM service has been subject to some criticism - for instance, The Daily Show's John Stewart last night joking that those who used the iPhone on AT&T had "sacrificed the ability to make phone calls."
The move to Verizon has thus been hailed as a positive step, and perhaps even escaping the notorious 'death grip' antenna fault. However, many were disappointed that the iPhone will be limited to the carrier's CDMA network, and not its faster 4G LTE service. This also means Verizon iPhones can only receive a signal whilst within the US.
Had the Verizon iPhone - which also features some minor button adjustments and the option to operate as a wireless hotspot - also supported LTE, the potential customer base could have been up to 15 million, PRTM's Hays predicted.
The figure may yet be even higher, however - Verizon currently boasts 93 million customers in the US. Apple has made no secret of its disgruntlement regarding Android's higher smartphone market share, but this deal could help tip the balance.
The Verizon iPhone goes on sale February 10.