If you’re looking to handicap which iPhone carrier is ahead in the LTE horse race, one Wall Street analyst points to Verizon and Sprint as the big winner and loser. Indeed, an LTE-enabled iPhone 5 would “change everything,” making it “the biggest consumer product launch ever.”

Jeffries & Co.’s analyst Thomas Seitz Thursday advised investors to buy Verizon shares, hold onto AT&T and sell Sprint-Nextel. Verizon now has 230 million LTE POPs — more than all other US carriers combined. As a result, Seitz sees “a share shift towards Verizon, primarily at AT&T’s expense.”

AT&T’s percentage of iPhone users could drop to 45 percent, down slightly from 47 percent. Additionally, around 9 million subscribers locked into the carrier could switch to Verizon, he said. In the meantime, T-Mobile — which AT&T tried and failed to snap up — is a wildcard, Seitz writes.

“If T-Mobile were to get the iPhone, we believe Sprint will face competition for iPhone subscribers at the low end of the postpaid market. “In our view, AT&T and Verizon could lose some subscribers to T-Mobile,” however the number would likely be small, he adds.

Of course, all of this hinges on the iPhone 5. Seitz agrees with the predominate expectation that Apple will unveil the new handset on Sept. 12, followed by general availability September 21. Up to 5 million iPhone 5 will be sold by the end of September, with another 15 million purchased in time for Christmas, according to the analyst.

  • Kok Hean

    Am I the only one who isn’t excited about LTE?

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      Nope…..I’m not either

      • nope. Andoid is already way ahead in the race. Samsung Galaxy S3 baby!!!!!!

      • DroidDoesnt_2

        (Yawn) When the GS3 sells 37 million units in 3 months then come back and talk to me……

      • SoCoMagNuM

        Whats that to you? Lol Ego boost for a company you dont own? GS3 doesnt have to do those figures. Doesn’t change the fact the phones a titan when it comes to speed. He simply stated his phone already has LTE and its blazing fast. I can atest to that. Does that benefit everyone? No it doesnt.

      • DroidDoesnt_2

        As an Apple shareholder, it represents much more than an “ego boost” ($$$) Check your facts before you shoot your mouth off next time 🙂
        Except for fringe, nerdy, geek-bubble dwelling fandroids like yourself, the vast majority of regular people couldn’t care less about LTE…now get back to your geek bubble!!! 🙂

      • SoCoMagNuM

        You mad? Lol ive supported apple since my first ipod classic 30gb on ward to the 3G iphone, iphone 4*, and iPod touches. Call me “fandroid” (how adult of you) is just funny to me. Yeah i made jump cause i wanted a different experience than the stale iOS ive been using for the past 4 years. Yes…fandroid i am.

        Your invested in apple. Thats good. Make that money. Still in a data hungry society you still want to be able to compete in the market and well…LTE has an important role. Its the evolution of mobile data communication. Of course thats not appealing to many that mainly use their smart phones for communication (music, streaming, social networking, sharing data)

      • SoCoMagNuM

        @DroidDoesnt_2 By purchasing all those apple devices and numerous apps/mysic/videos via iTunes, this LTE utilizing “fandroid” made you money lol. Dont knock the people that feed your pockets.

      • SoCoMagNuM

        Yeah this phone is a beast when it comes to speed. On average my download speed is at 27-35mb. Apps download in seconds if that. 3G/4G* compared to 4G LTE is like night and day easy

    • J

      I wasn’t excited about lte at first either until I used an android handset for a week…the speeds are mind boggling for a phone, I was just wishing it was on my 4S

    • chjode

      Seeing as how there is no LTE service where I live, it’s not a big selling point to me, either. That said, I’m always in favor of higher speed mobile data because then I can get to my data cap faster!

    • Liu Zhenyu

      It wont be much to be excited about, but one that makes experience smoother.

  • cruzcontrol1001


  • With their tier plans LTE is like having a Ferrari and only being able to drive in in one neighborhood. Sucks is another gimmick that could have been great but greedy people fuck it up as usual.

  • David Saltares

    Is Sprint a loser in this LTE race only because they haven’t rolled out their LTE network yet? I get it, they barely have an LTE network compared to AT&T and Verizon but what about the potential they have with the fact that they are rolling out their LTE network to more and more cities little by little. I’ve been with AT&T ever since 2007 (1st gen iPhone). Over the years I have seen my service get worse and worse. To the point where I can not even take or make a phone call from my home. I now have to step out side just to prevent a call from dropping. I personally have made the decision when the new iPhone comes out to switch to Sprint. I’m sick of the terrible call service and I don’t want to have to be on a 2GB or 4GB data plan. I know that Sprints 3g service is pretty slow and their 4G LTE network has yet to be rolled out to a majority of the county. But in doing some research i’ve learned that Sprint’s LTE network has been tested and came in at being a little faster than Verizon’s and just a little bit slower than AT&T’s LTE network. I guess the only problem people will have is having to wait for Sprint to roll out their LTE network to said custormer’s local city. Personaly I can wait for Sprint to bring LTE to Miami. Just gives me something else to look forward to after I have my new iPhone. Swtiching from AT&T to Sprint just seems like a no brainer to me. $132 a month with AT&T for unlimited minutes, only 1500 text messages a month and a grandfather unlimited 3g data plan that will be taken away once I upgrade from 3G to 4G not to mention the additional $10 a month for the swtich which would raise my monthly bill up to about $145. Or $122 a month with Sprint for unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages and unlimited 4G LTE data. Like I said, its just a no brainer for me. Sorry for the rant guys, if you couldn’t tell AT&T has pissed me off and and has lost a 5 year customer in me. I’m so glad I didn’t upgrade my iPhone 4 to a 4S. Now I’m a free agent 🙂

    • chjode

      Sprint gambled on Wimax and lost out on that as the generally accepted “4G” standard. They are rolling out LTE, though they are behind Verizon and AT&T (who is also way behind Verizon’s deployment).

    • keep in mind it will be YEARS before Sprint has their LTE network rolled out. if they had it as far along as Verizon does, i would jump to Sprint in a heart beat. in my area i don’t see any LTE from AT&T, but Verizon has it within 5 or 6 miles of me so it should be extended to where i am in no time. i’ve been with AT&T since 2005 and i’ve had every iPhone on day 1 with them, but that time is coming to an end. their shared plans are bullsh*t, as are Verizon’s, but at least with Verizon i can get a 2gb plan and not forced to pick 1gb or 4gb…whole lot of choice there from AT&T. i have also noticed that i used to have full bars where i live but in the last 4 or 5 months i get 1, maybe 2 on a good day. they are no longer the only game in town to get an iPhone from, so they should have stepped up their game. i agree with this article; AT&T is going to lost a LOT of customers to other carriers.

      just keep in mind you probably won’t see LTE from Sprint until the 7th generation iPhone comes out next year. that’s a long time to wait.

    • SoCoMagNuM

      Im still grandfathered into unlimited data plan. Upgraded from iPhone 4 to Galaxy 3. Chose 4G LTE unlimited personal data plan. Same price. You can upgrade to iPhone 5 and still keep your unlimited data and get LTE if available in your area

  • More ammo for them to keep raises prices and tell us it’s for our benefit.

  • I really don’t understand how LTE is a game changer. I’ve used phones that have the speed, but it drains the battery insanely fast (Unless you’re the Razr Maxx, which still defies logic). 3G, and even HSPA+ is plenty fast for a phone on the go while keeping the battery life decent. Until we have a total LTE network (meaning the entire network is LTE), I don’t see it being that big a deal. Just think of when 3G finally had a 100% rate, if the phone didn’t have it, it didn’t sell. But before that, it didn’t really matter.

  • Seeing how Verizon has treated me in the past, I can tell you right now that it’s going to take more than great LTE coverage for the company to win me over again as a customer.

    • SoCoMagNuM

      Im sticking with AT&T. Barely ever have problems and when I do they are more than willing to help resolve. Not everyone gets that treatment but each is their own.

  • So let’s say I upgrade and get the LTE phone. I have no LTE where I live, so are they going to make me pay LTE prices anyways? I should only get charged for 3g still, right? So my plans should stay the same as it always has been.

    • 2008crna

      When Sprint came out with the the EVo and touted it as a 4G phone, you paid for the 4G surcharge regardless if you had it in your coverage area. It is part of the fee with the phone. Now whether or not there will be a 4G fee on top of your plan remains to be seen.

      • I am sure hoping that is not the case. I would hate to have to pay for it when I can’t even use it. :[

  • 2008crna

    I agree with most posts here. An LTE phone does not make me want to upgrade. LTE is not what it should be (yet) and the battery hit you take for usage is not worth the trade off. I spend a predominant amount of my time in an area where Wifi is easily accessible and the desire for another reason to have to plug in my iPhone is not on my list of “must have’s”. This of course is Apples F-U to the consumer about the new dock connector and I am not so sure I want to shell out for a new phone right now.

  • I guess my country is just too slow for network 🙁
    My new iPad still using HSPA+ only :/

  • JonathanLiu

    LOL they might call it the iPhone 4G LTE

  • JonathanLiu

    it might be called iPhone 4G LTE , lol

  • WatchTheThrone

    Sprint is steadily adding LTE markets so don’t write them off just yet!!