When the iPhone 4 finally launched on Verizon’s network, it was expected to be a godsend. U.S. customers could finally choose a different carrier if they had issues with AT&T. The device was projected to sell more than 5 million units — and then it didn’t. Verizon barely managed to sell half that.

So why were analysts so far off? My guess is that it was related to a misconception that a lot of AT&T customers were unhappy, but we’re not. There is also a good possibility that a lot of folks decided to hold off in anticipation for a summer-unveiling of a new model. In fact, analyst Gene Munster thinks it’s a real good possibility…

Munster recently polled a small sample of 216 cell phone users about their devices and wireless carriers. The survey revealed that a significant number of Verizon Wireless customers have been waiting on Apple’s upcoming smartphone to upgrade.

A staggering 74% of Big Red customers are planning to hold off for the iPhone 5, rather than purchasing Apple’s current offering. In comparison, only 53% of AT&T customers who have been looking into purchasing an iPhone say they’ll wait for the updated model. The low figure might have something to do with AT&T’s $49 3GS.

The data also shows a near-perfect customer retention rate among iPhone owners, as 94% of them say they expect to buy another Apple-branded handset. On the contrary, only 47% of Android users expect to purchase another Android device (42% indicated they will switch to an iPhone).

Although the research was done on a small scale, I don’t imagine the ratio would deflate a whole lot on a national level (global, maybe). However you slice it, it sounds like Apple and their iPhone 5 are poised to break sales records.

Will you be getting one?

[AppleInsider]