Despite the looming anticipated late summer launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 6, prospective smartphone buyers say they will upgrade to the current flagship iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c sometime within the next three months (at that point just days away from the iPhone 6 launch).
So why exactly would someone not wait just a matter of weeks longer to get the most advanced iPhone available (or take advantage of a lower priced iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c?)?
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, who recently surveyed prospective smartphone buyers, interest in Apple smartphones is so strong that there remains a must have mentality fueling demand that is not decimated by a forthcoming iPhone refresh.
Munster, however, does note a small drop in the percentage of consumers intending to buy Apple’s iPhone (it declined last week to 34% from 39% in February and 44% in December).
Munster takes the result as “to be expected” four months away from an assumed iPhone refresh, writing “As the next iPhone launches with a bigger screen (likely 4.7 inch vs. 4.0 for iPhone 5), we would expect purchase intent to improve back to the 50% we saw in Sep-13 at the launch of the 5S or potentially even higher given the likelihood of a new form factor.”
“We believe that the iPhone showed significant strength in overseas markets, in addition to the China Mobile launch, that enabled it to grow meaningfully higher than expectations,” Munster is quoted by Barron’s. “While our survey is US focused, we believe the data suggests that the iPhone, particularly the highest-end 5S model, continues to have staying power given about a third of US smartphone consumers expect to purchase an iPhone in the next three months. We view the stronger March quarter in addition to our survey as an indication that iPhone can remain healthy into the iPhone 6 upgrade in September.”