A survey from Loup Ventures shows that interest in upgrading to the new iPhone, due out this fall, is higher than last September when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were released.
Based on the May survey of 501 U.S. consumers, 25% of the 220 current iPhone users surveyed said they plan on buying the next iPhone when it's released. That's up from the 23% that answered affirmatively in the same survey back in March 2017. More significantly, that's 10 percentage points higher than the 15% of iPhone owners that said they wanted to buy the iPhone 7 in July 2016 prior to its release that September.
The survey results follow an April 2017 survey from Morgan Stanley that showed about 92% of iPhone owners say they are "somewhat likely" or "extremely likely" to upgrade their device in the next year. That survey was based on 1,000 U.S. smartphone users aged 18 and above.
The new iPhone is expected to get a complete redesign for its 10th anniversary. Expected updates include an edge-to-edge OLED display, wireless charging, facial scanning technology and augmented reality technology.
The overhaul in design has both customers and analysts excited. UBS is forecasting the newest iPhone will make up 45% of Apple's sales in 2018. Loup Ventures sees iPhone unit growth increasing from 0% for the iPhone 7 cycle to 8% for the upcoming iPhone, and iPhone revenue growth increasing from flat in the current cycle to 11% in the next cycle. Recent concerns that the next iPhone might not have the chips with the fastest download speeds have reduced some expectations and dragged down Apple's stock, however.
While the new device has been called both the "iPhone 8" and the "iPhone X," Apple has been simplifying its product names by dropping the numerical value, Munster pointed out. The most likely naming scheme is now "iPhone" and "iPhone Plus," he said.
The iPhone 5, 5S, 6, 6S and 7 all shipped in September. However, the new smartphones will most likely be announced in September but ship in October due to difficulties with the curved OLED screen, Munster predicted based on comments from a component supplier.
J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall previously said he thinks OLED supply constraints could prevent Apple from being able to meet the demand for the new iPhone. Hall is in the camp of analysts who believe the new iPhone could result in a sales "super cycle" due to pent-up demand for the much-hyped next iPhone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook partially blamed the excitement about the future iPhone for the 50.8 million iPhone units sold in the second quarter, vs. expectations for 51.4 million units. "We are seeing a kind of delay in purchasing behavior that we think is a consequence of the number of rumors and reports about future products," Cook told CNBC.
Apple's shares fell 1% to $143.66 on Thursday in afternoon trading.
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