So much for the 70 million iPhones analysts think Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will buy between now and year end. At least that is the conclusion which can be drawn from a recent tweet from Survey Monkey:
Apple’s share price has soared based on early iPhone 7 sales, which makes the Survey Monkey conclusions questionable. Even if the current iPhone sales are strong and later sales reflect the Survey Monkey sentiment, Apple faces an uphill battle as the holiday approach.
The results of the survey do not reflect most Wall St. sentiment. A story in Barron’s said:
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster reiterates an Overweight rating, and a $151 price target, writing that he took a survey of people on Friday waiting in line to buy the thing.
“Overall, we believe the survey suggests that the 128GB mid storage size may cannibalize some of the previous top level capacity buyers and that the iPhone 7 may be driven more by upgraders (current iPhone owners) than switchers compared to prior launches.”
People, he writes, are opting for the middle of a spectrum of flash storage capacity in the new phone, though it’s too soon to say what average selling price Apple may see on average:
54% of iPhone launch buyers expect to buy the iPhone 7 while 46% plan on buying the iPhone 7 Plus, essentially the inverse of what we saw for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S launches. Additionally, iPhone buyers appear to be buying fewer of the top capacity device (256GB) and more of the mid capacity (128GB) and lower capacity (32GB) devices. We believe this could mean that consumers see more value in the low and mid tier capacity options, which could be a slight headwind to ASPs, although one key factor may have been the lack of iPhone 7 Plus availability. We believe iPhone 7 Plus users tend to opt for the larger capacity devices and thus it’s too early to make a determination on ASPs.
Also, most iPhone buyers at this point are current owners, according to his survey:
Our survey showed that 98% of buyers in line to buy the iPhone 7 were already iPhone users, while 2% were Android users. This is the highest percentage of iPhone launch customers we have ever recorded as current iPhone users. 88% of iPhone 6S/6S Plus buyers were current iPhone users and 90% of iPhone 5S and iPhone 6/6 Plus buyers were current iPhone users. We don’t view this reading as surprising given smartphone penetration and loyalty as well as the fact that launch day iPhone buyers tend to be more loyal to Apple in general.
Munster has been following Apple for years. His research is probably better than any survey.