Thursday, July 19, 2012

94 percent of iPhone owners will upgrade to another iPhone; only 60 percent of Android owners follow suit

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has released the results of his annual cell phone survey, and the results are somewhat startling.

One thing that was astonishing was that of the 400 respondents (from Minnesota, New York, California, China and Korea - admittedly, the choice of locations doesn't make much sense to us either), 6.5 percent said, "not a smartphone." All right, that's not that startling. Seriously, though, while the fact that six-and-a-half percent of respondents don't want a smartphone at all may be astounding to us, that wasn't one of the truly surprising numbers in the report.

First, iPhone owners love their phones. 94.2 percent of iPhone users plan to buy an iPhone for their next phone, which is even better than Munster's 2011 survey in which respondents said yea at a 93 percent rate.

Meanwhile, Android users love their phones more than last year, but not as much as iPhone owners love their devices. Only 60 percent of Android owners would opt for Android for their next phone. While that's up from last year's 47 percent, Munster wrote the start truth: "Android is still losing 33 percent of current users to the iPhone. We also note that 38 percent of Blackberry users expect to switch to iPhone."

Overall, not segregating the question by current device ownership, when asked what their next purchase would be, 65 percent said an iPhone, 19 percent said an Android phone, 6.5 percent said, "not a smartphone," 6 percent said, "I don't know," and 2.5 percent said a Blackberry.

Furthermore, these customers seem to be keeping abreast of current trends. Of those who plan on buying an iPhone for their next device, more than half of them (51 percent) said they were waiting for the iPhone 5.

When asked to put a dollar value on their device love, iPhone owners averaged $313, which is over $100 more than a 16GB iPhone 4S' subsidized price. Android and Blackberry phones had value averages of $220 and $219, which strangely means that Android owners only value their phones $1 more than BlackBerry owners value theirs.

When shown unlabeled scale drawings of an iPhone and a Droid Razr Maxx, 56 percent preferred the smaller-screened device. It's unclear, though, if the survey respondents could tell the devices apart (realistically, we would think yes).

Based on the percentages and numbers from the survey, Munster also estimated that 80 million, or nearly half of the 170 million iPhone sales he's projected for Apple's fiscal 2013 are already, as he puts it, "in the bag."

In Apple's fiscal Q2 2012 (calendar year Q1 2012), the company sold 35.1 million iPhones. However, the company also issued a somewhat weak forecast.  Apple does tend to undersell its predictions, so Munster may still, in fact, be correct.

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