Apple 2.0

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Piper Jaffray: 80 million iPhone 5 sales are already "in the bag"

July 17, 2012: 8:49 AM ET

In a survey of 400 consumers, 65% said they expected their next phone to be an iPhone

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FORTUNE -- In a note to clients issued Tuesday, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster reported the results of his annual cell phone survey. The key takeaways:

  • Asked what phone they were going to buy next, 65% said an Apple (AAPL) iPhone, 19% said a Google (GOOG) Android, 6.5% said "not a smartphone," 6% said "I don't know," and 2.5% said a Research in Motion (RIMM) Blackberry.
  • 51% of respondents who planned on making the iPhone their next smartphone (whether current iPhone users or not) said they were waiting for the iPhone 5.
  • 94.2% of iPhone users plan to buy an iPhone for their next phone, improving upon last year's rate of 93%. If you throw in half of the 2.9% of iPhone owners who were still unsure, the re-buy rate rises to nearly 95.7%.
  • Android phones were measured at a re-buy rate of 60%, up from 47% last year. "While the improvement is a positive sign," Munster writes, "Android is still losing 33% of current users to the iPhone. We also note that 38% of Blackberry users expect to switch to iPhone."
  • Asked to put a dollar value on their current phone, iPhone owners' answers averaged $313, more than $100 higher than the device's subsidized price. Android and Blackberry phones had value averages of $220 and $219, respectively.
  • Shown unlabeled scale drawings of an iPhone and a Droid Razr Maxx, 56% preferred the phone with the smaller screen, which makes one wonder why Apple would want to increase the iPhone 5's screen size, as rumored.

"The iPhone represents 50%+ of Apple's revenue," Muster points out, "making Apple future largely reliant on the success of the iPhone."

But he's not worried. Given the better than 94% re-buy rate and the 51% of all phone owners waiting for the iPhone 5, Munster estimates that more than half of his projected 170 million iPhone sales for fiscal 2013 are already, as he puts it, "in the bag."

The survey gathered responses from 400 people in the U.S. (Minnesota, New York, California) and Asia (China, South Korea). Among them, 348 owned smartphones, 51 owned feature phones, and one didn't own a cell phone of any sort.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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