It's a potent mix of new customers and old, says a Morgan Stanley analyst
One of the unanswered questions about Apple's (AAPL) latest hit product is how many of the 600,000 iPhone 4s that were pre-sold on Tuesday were ordered by iPhone owners upgrading from their older models and how many by new customers who'd never owned an iPhone before.
Charles Golvin, a wireless analyst at Forrester Research, is a skeptic. "I doubt that a meaningful percentage of these buyers are new," he told the New York Times.
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty is more sanguine. In a note to clients issued Wednesday evening she cites a proprietary Morgan Stanley survey that suggests the upgrade rate will be more than 50%, but not that much more. Even 50% is considerably higher than the 18% upgrade rate found in a November 2008 survey and 25% since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007.
A loyal and growing installed base is a good thing for Apple, she argues. She estimates that if 30% of current iPhone owners upgrade this year, Apple will sell 42 million units in 2010. If 50% upgrade, it will sell 48 million. In her model, the iPhone installed base rises from about 30 million at the end of 2009 to 100 million by the end of 2011.
"We believe there are several key drivers of iPhone upgrades," she writes. And she ticks them off. In her words:
Meanwhile, it apologizes to frustrated iPhone customers and invites them to try again
Someone finally apologized for the mess Apple and its carrier partners made of the iPhone 4 pre-order process Tuesday.
In statement released Wednesday, Apple (AAPL) announced that the number of pre-orders it took -- more than 600,000 -- was a one-day record. It was also more than it or its partners were prepared to handle, and for that it MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 16, 2010 12:19 PM ET
The rate slows to 5,000 per day as Apple offers school discounts and begins accepting apps
It's been a busy week for the iPad.
It started off with a bang, as Apple (AAPL) racked up pre-orders at the rate of more than 25,000 units per hour early Friday March 12, according to the team tracking order numbers at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board.
By Sunday, the initial frenzy had cooled. The pre-order rate MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 20, 2010 3:33 PM ET
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