One of the biggest drivers of Apple’s AAPL growth — and the company’s share price — over the next two years will be the expiration of the exclusivity deals Steve Jobs cut with carriers during the iPhone’s first two years.
That’s the conclusion of a surprisingly bullish report issued Friday by Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty, long considered a leading Apple bear.
Her “case study” is France, where the iPhone’s market share grew 136% after the government ended Apple’s exclusive deal with Orange. She expects similar — if not quite as dramatic — increases as Apple, in addition to opening new markets in China and Korea, switches to multi-carrier agreements in its largest markets. (The U.K. has already gone multi-carrier.)
The U.S. is the biggest prize in this respect, but she doesn’t expect Apple to cut a deal with Verizon before that carrier’s so-called 4G rollout is complete, some time in 2011.
Huberty offers three scenarios for investors — bullish, base and bearish — represented in the chart above. Using her base scenario she expects Apple to sell 41.7 million iPhones in calendar year 2010. She has raised her revenue estimate for 2010 to $45.3 billion from $38.2 billion and her estimated EPS to $10.50 — 13% above the Street’s consensus.