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Monday, April 11, 2011, 10:35 pm PT (01:35 am ET)

CDMA iPhone represents $9 billion opportunity for Apple, says analyst

Apple could see as much as $6 billion from sales of the CDMA-version of the iPhone on Verizon, and another $3 billion in CDMA iPhone sales overseas in 2012, says one analyst.

Analyst Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan Research issued a note to investors on Tuesday detailing Apple's "multi-billion dollar revenue opportunity" in the CDMA market. According to Moskowitz, the Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker should maintain above-market growth over the next 18-24 months, especially if boosted by accelerating CDMA market penetration in Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

The analyst commended Apple's pursuit of Verizon first as a sound approach, given that Verizon represents a "major piece" of the global CDMA opportunity, while noting that Apple will likely go after China, India, Japan and South Korea next because of their high penetration rates of smartphone usage and the increased purchasing power of their growing consumer bases.

Moskowitz predicts Apple will sell 10 million iPhones through Verizon in 2012, amounting to roughly $6 billion in revenues. In the overseas CDMA market, the analyst projects a 10 percent market share in 2012, resulting in approximately $3 billion in revenues.

Citing figures from research firm IDC that project Asia-Pacific to outpace all other regions with 40 percent growth from 2009-2014, Moskowitz sees the region continuing to drive the iPhone's year over year growth.

Apple has seen phenomenal growth in Asia. Revenue in Greater China reached $2.6 billion last quarter, up four-fold from the prior year quarter. Apple revenues in Japan saw 83 percent growth year over year and the company has seen healthy growth in Korea as well.

Several other analysts have predicted that the CDMA iPhone will soon arrive on Asian carriers, such as India's Reliance and China Telecom. China Telecom has reportedly succeeded in activating test units of Apple's CDMA iPhone 4 and could launch a limited test program in Beijing as early as this June.

For its part, Verizon announced in February that the launch of the CDMA iPhone 4 was the largest in the carrier's history. Executives at the largest carrier in the U.S. have projected a conservative 11 million units in sales of the iPhone in 2011, with the possibility of 'explosive' growth in coming years.