It’s funny how things in the tech space play out sometimes. Apple’s iPhone 7 was supposed to be a boring device, at best a stop-gap release designed to hold us over until the release of the radically redesigned iPhone 8. In fact, the idea that Apple’s iPhone 7 was going to be a disappointment was so pronounced that it even prompted Samsung to accelerate development of its Galaxy Note 7 phablet, a decision which, as we now know, would end up costing the company billions.

In truth, Apple’s iPhone 7 was surprisingly compelling. From incredibly fast internal upgrades and battery life improvements to jaw-dropping new camera technologies, Apple’s iPhone 7 has engendered more interest than most analysts or pundits initially assumed.

DON’T MISS: This iPhone 7 video review from a hardcore Android fan is making Android users want to switch

Speaking to this point, a new research note from UBS analyst Steven Milunovich relays that consumer interest in the iPhone 7 — and the iPhone 7 in particular — remains impressively high. While interest in the iPhone in China is reportedly waning, Milunovich is confident that overall demand for Apple’s next-gen smartphone is sufficiently high enough to offset what may be a disappointing downturn in the Chinese market.

UBS’s research report, per Barron’s, reads in part:

Positives for Apple include: (1) almost half of US respondents are very or somewhat likely to purchase an iPhone 7, above even the 6 cycle two years ago; (2) the US shows a shift toward the Plus with a 9-point rise over the 6s; (3) Apple rates high in product uniqueness, and its customers are more concerned with design and less focused on price; (4) global smartphone penetration of 60% and high aspiration in the US and China allow opportunity for new customers; and (5) although Samsung’s retention rate has improved, 30% of its customers were at least somewhat less likely to go Samsung.

Concerns for Apple include (1) although China interest in the 7 is not far behind the US, it is lower than China saw for either the 6 or 6s; (2) Apple’s retention rate fell in China though excluding users not planning future upgrades the rate held in–we model a single-digit decline in China units for F17; (3) upgrade cycles are slightly longer, reflected in our assumption that only 43% of the base upgrades in two years vs a more typical 50-60%; and (4) Apple fell in all categories of consumer perception.

All in all, this bodes very well for Apple. Not only is interest in the iPhone 7 strong, but Apple’s bottom line will be bolstered by better than anticipated demand for the more margin-friendly iPhone 7 Plus. Of course, once the holiday shopping season comes and goes, all eyes will begin focusing in on Apple’s 2017 iPhone, a device likely to be called the iPhone 8. As we’ve reported previously, Apple’s iPhone 8 will reportedly feature an edgeless OLED display with sensors embedded underneath it. Earlier this week, a report surfaced claiming that the iPhone 8 will also introduce a new wireless charging feature.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.