Analyst Calls Verizon iPhone a Sure Thing

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks the Verizon-compatible iPhone is more than a rumor. He’s even going so far as to include the Verizon iPhone in his Apple sales estimates for 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Our Take On The Timing Of iPhone At Verizon. Our model assumes Verizon launches the iPhone in early- or mid-calendar year 2011,” Mr. Munster said. “While we do not know the timing of the launch we have modeled it to occur midway through the March ‘11 quarter.”

Verizon iPhone? Munster’s Magic 8 Ball says “Yes.”

Rumors have been circulating for some time that Apple is working on a CDMA-based iPhone to sell along side the current GSM models. CDMA is the cell communication technology Verizon and a handful of other mobile communication companies around the world use, and it isn’t compatible with the GSM-based technology AT&T and Apple’s other iPhone partners use.

Adding a CDMA iPhone would potentially increase the number of customers for Apple, although so far the company has remained tight lipped on whether or not it has such an iPhone in development.

Mr. Munster is so sure Apple will release a Verizon-compatible iPhone in 2011 that he pushed up his target price for the company’s stock to US$438. Apple is currently trading at $321.34, up 1.05 (0.33%).