The Stage is Set for An iPhone Christmas

by Ben Bajarin   |   August 2nd, 2011

Data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was released Monday that resulted in similar data to research my firm has been conducting. The conclusion of Munster’s data is that there is huge pent up demand for Apple’s next version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5. Munster’s data revealed several key points.

  • Among those who do not have an iPhone but plan to buy an iPhone next, 60% are specifically waiting for the iPhone 5
  • Of those Verizon subs who do not have an iPhone but plan to buy an iPhone next, 74% are specifically waiting for the iPhone 5
  • Among existing iPhone users, 94% expect to buy another iPhone (6% expect to switch to Android)
  • Among existing Android users 47% expect to buy another Android smartphone (42% expect to switch to iPhone).

Granted his sample size was relatively small at 216 people however the data resulted in similar findings to our own independent research. Our interest was in non-smart phone customers primarily but we did survey a mix of current early generation smart phone owners as well. This research is still underway but early conclusions are showing something similar to Munster’s, which is a large amount of consumers are waiting for the iPhone 5.

Over 75% of those we have surveyed so far state that they are waiting for the iPhone 5 for their first smart phone. In fact I was speaking with a college student who has a two year old and very worn BlackBerry. When I asked him what his plans were for his next phone he looked at me like I was crazy and said “duh the iPhone 5.”

What else is interesting is that when we dig into the kinds of consumers we are talking to we find out that they are largely in the early majority and late majority. These happen to be the largest group of consumers and demand for smart phones is entering into the largest sector of the market. What Munster’s data and our early analysis is showing is that a significant number of people will be in the market for new phones this holiday season, smart phones in particular, and their overwhelming choice appears to be the iPhone 5.

Another interesting bit of information we are finding is that a large number of BlackBerry consumers are due for upgrades this holiday season and are in the market for a new smart phone. We are in the process of finding out the mix of Android to iPhone preference in these consumers and will release those stats when we have them.

The bottom line is if you combine the number of new consumers in the market for a smart phone this fall who are leaning toward an iPhone with the number of consumers upgrading, the result is a huge holiday season for smart phones in general but may tip heavily in Apple’s favor with the iPhone 5.

I would not be surprised if in the US this holiday season more iPhones are sold than Android phones.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research. He is a husband, father, gadget enthusiast, trend spotter, early adopter and hobby farmer. Full Bio