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In a note to clients, Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig thinks Apple will see 33 million iPhones this year even without a deal with Verizon deal, as many folks have expected -- or at least hoped for (including Yours Truly).
However, for Apple to continue to grow the iPhone market, it has to had more carriers at some point, he told clients. If Apple did indeed add a Verizon iPhone to its offering, Craig predicts that would see another eight million of the devices sold in 2011.
Without a Verizon deal, Craig told clients he's upping his “base case” for the iPhone next year. He thinks 2011 units could go as high as 55 million if more carriers, including Verizon, are added by Apple.