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Though questions loom about how much the iPhone 8 will cost and when it will hit the market, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich observes that the number of consumers who plan to buy one of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report phone is running ahead of prior models.

Apple reports after the bell on Tuesday. Investors will listen for confirmation about rumored features, such as a new organic LED (OLED) display with curved edges or facial scanning that would replace the touch ID. Ahead of the report, Apple shares were essentially flat at $149 on Tuesday late morning. 

TheStreet will be hosting a live blog analyzing Apple's fiscal third quarter earnings report after the close on Tuesday. Please check our home page for more details.

Consumers are excited about the new phone, UBS analyst Milunovich wrote Monday, pointing to 451 Research's survey of more than 4,000 smart phone shoppers in June.

"Apple buying intent was the highest for June since 2010," Milunovich observed, added that 90% of iPhone owners would remain loyal to Apple. "Apple is gaining share, and iPhone 8 interest looks solid with users increasingly interested in large screens."

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Of those who said they would buy a phone in the next 90 days, 52% said they would get an iPhone.

The percentage who said they are likely (11%) or very likely (19%) to buy an iPhone 8 was 11% and 19%, respectively. That trumps buying intent for the iPhone 7 in June of last year and the iPhone 6s the year before that, Milunovich noted, but does not top the responses for the "super successful" iPhone 6 back in June 2014.

One hitch: 451 Research surveyed consumers in June, before reports that the tenth-anniversary edition of Apple's coveted smart phone could cost up to $1,200 and could be the first iPhone ever to have a delayed release. Sticker shock or impatience could change consumers' minds.

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