Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told investors Wednesday that Apple stands to regain some lost momentum thanks to the company’s deal with T-Mobile to introduce the iPhone to the nation’s fourth largest carrier on April 12.
Wu, according to published reports this morning, says the announcement is positive because it allows Apple to gain market share in the U.S. through the carrier’s 42 million subscribers (after T-Mobile’s pending acquisition of MetroPCS).
Apple already has access to 116 million Verizon Wireless subscribers, 107 million AT&T subscribers, and 55 million Sprint subscribers.
“While T-Mobile USA has lost customers, its core customer base remains loyal to its lower-cost and unlimited data plans,” Wu says. “We believe this will help AAPL capture incremental customers and strengthen its position against GOOG Android, which got its start on T-Mobile USA.”
In the short term, the deal with T-Mobile should also help AAPL in these relatively quiet months that linger between iPhone refreshes. Wu believes the T-Mobile relationship will boost Apple’s June quarter outlook.
Sterne Agee is sticking with a Buy rating for AAPL and a price target of $630.