FORTUNE -- It takes stubborn company to resist the pressure Apple (AAPL) has been under for the last six months to lower the price of the iPhone 5C -- the one Wall Street expected to be C for "cheap" or "China" but which turned out to be neither. The day the price was announced, analysts across the board expressed their shock and disappointment, and traders knocked $40 billion off the company's market capitalization.
"This chart shows the iPhone 5C has bombed in China," read the headline that TechAsia ran last week above the attached chart. Even Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, admitted in January that he had misjudged demand.
"The fact is, Apple doesn't know what demand for the iPhone 5C will be in developing markets," Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster told me the day the iPhone 5C was unveiled -- right after he'd been briefed by Apple execs. Rather than give away more margin than necessary, he said, the company decided to start high and make adjustments later.
Six months later -- nearly to the day -- Apple has started making those adjustments. On its U.K. website, where an unsubsidized 16GB iPhone 5C goes for £469 ($779), a new 8GB model showed up Tuesday morning at a new price point: £429, or £40 ($67) cheaper.
As of 6 a.m. ET, the 8GB model hadn't popped up on Apple's U.S. website, where the 16GB iPhone 5C sells for $549 unsubsidized and $99 with a two-year contract. We might have a few hours to run a quick poll.
UPDATE: Apple refreshed its U.S. website before 9 a.m. Tuesday with a change in the iPad line-up (dropping the iPad 2 and putting in its place at the $399 price point a newly-tweaked 9.7-inch iPad with Retina). No sign yet of an 8GB iPhone 5C.
UPDATE 2: We have winner! Apple PR has confirmed that the 8GB model is available in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and China. It is not, for the time being, available in the U.S. I've closed down the poll with 96 readers (26%) having guessed correctly. Two points: 1) Reports from domestic carriers suggest that the iPhone 5C is selling well in the U.S. and 2) I wouldn't wish a skimpy 8GB on anyone I thought might want to put music, photos or serious apps on an iPhone.
In Piper Jaffray's test of 800 voice queries, Google Now gets the award for most improved.
FORTUNE -- Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster issued a matched pair of report cards Tuesday on the performance of the two leading smartphone intelligent assistants, Google's (GOOG) Google Now and Apple's (AAPL) Siri.
Google Now has overcome its initial deficit and is now roughly the equivalent of Siri in its ability to interpret spoken queries and answer MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 10, 2013 11:39 AM ET
In New York, the dean of Apple analysts talks mobile, wearables, smart homes and more.
FORTUNE -- Except for a few snarky comments Henry Blodget made in his opening presentation Tuesday about what Tim Cook needs to do to stay competitive in China, the only session devoted to Apple (AAPL) at Business Insider's three-day Ignition: Future of Digital conference was Gene Munster's 15-minute after-lunch talk titled "The State of Apple."
Among the points he made:
iPhone MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 12, 2013 4:12 PM ET
In a survey of 799 U.S. customers, 12% of iPhone owners said they might buy one.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) does not sell a smartwatch. It hasn't introduced one or said anything about making one. But it has filed patents for a computerized touchscreen wristband, and this summer it registered the iWatch trademark in half a dozen countries.
On the strength of that, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster recently set out to gauge MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 7, 2013 7:29 AM ET
Piper Jaffray's line watchers interviewed 416 customers in three U.S. cities.
FORTUNE -- In a note to clients Friday afternoon Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster summarized the results of his team's launch day survey of Apple (AAPL) iPhone customers. Among their findings: (I quote)
90% of iPhone 5S/5C buyers were upgrading from another version of the iPhone compared to 83% for the iPhone 5 launch and 73% for the iPhone 4S. We note MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 20, 2013 1:58 PM ET
It wouldn't be a Munster forecast without an Apple television in it.
FORTUNE -- Jumping on AllThingD's report that Apple (AAPL) has scheduled a special event on Sept. 10 to introduce its latest crop of iPhones -- a rumor endorsed Monday with a "Yep" from The Loop's Jim Dalrymple -- Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has issued his predictions for Apple's 2013-2014 product line-up.
"We believe now is the time to own shares of AAPL," he MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 13, 2013 9:13 AM ET
The price of an iPhone 4 on eBay and China's Taobao has actually increased since April.
FORTUNE -- Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has performed a simple experiment that says a lot about the comparative value of Apple (AAPL) and Android smartphones.
Since April, he (or his team) has been monitoring the resale prices of six devices on eBay and China's Taobao Marketplace -- three iPhones and three Samsung smartphones running on Google's (GOOG) MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 7, 2013 7:26 AM ET
Munster puts iRadio at 80%, MacBook Air at 40%, iWallet at 20%, Apple TV apps at 10%.
FORTUNE -- With the Tim Cook's keynote address at Apple's (AAPL) World Wide Developers Conference only hours away, there's no shortage of speculation from Apple bloggers and Apple analysts about what's in store. But only Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has assigned percentages to the possible announcements.
Excerpts from his Monday morning note to clients:
90% Chance of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 10, 2013 7:03 AM ET
Were we listening to the same AllThingsD interview?
FORTUNE -- "We felt that after viewing the conversation, it seems fairly certain that Apple will launch a television, a watch, and multiple iterations of the iPhone by the end of 2014 as well as a potential new service offering."
That's how Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster -- an Apple (AAPL) analyst who has been predicting the imminent arrival of an Apple television set since MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 29, 2013 1:22 PM ET
Fears of 30% by 2015 are overblown, says Gene Munster, but he's lowering his target.
FORTUNE -- So confident are analysts that Apple (AAPL) is getting ready to launch a lower-cost iPhone that some have started building the new device -- which none have ever seen -- into spreadsheets like the one at right issued Thursday by Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster.
What these analysts are not so sure about is what kind MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 10, 2013 7:16 AM ET
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