A Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst is out with a report today presenting the results of a recent survey of almost 91,000 smartphone users from around the world. The firm surveyed those users between March and September, and among other things it found upgrade interest among iPhone users has gone up precipitously in recent months — such that BofA has reaffirmed its ‘buy’ rating on shares of Apple stock, on the back of the firm’s prediction that upgrades are going to help Apple sales especially pop next year.
Among other findings from the note by analyst Wamsi Mohan — per a CNBC report, some 33 percent of survey responders said they plan to upgrade to a new iPhone for their next purchase, compared to 15 percent for Samsung. In all, 70 percent of respondents basically identified themselves as Apple loyalists, saying the next phone they buy will remain an iPhone.
In the note to clients, Mohan said: “Our survey suggests interest in upgrading to an iPhone rose significantly in recent months, with steady growth following the announcements of the iPhone XS and iPhone XR,” adding that the BofA survey “shows demand for iPhones rising across markets.”
“IPhone users stickiness is better than the competition,” Mohan continued. And “our survey points to a significant opportunity for growth in both China and India.”
The CNBC report goes on to note that Mohan estimates Apple will report fiscal 2019 earnings per share of $14.41 versus the $13.62 Wall Street consensus. “Apple shares are significantly outperforming the market this year,” the network adds. “The stock is up 32 percent year to date through Monday versus the S&P 500’s 8 percent gain.”
Philip Elmer-DeWitt’s Apple 3.0 dives deeper into the BofA report, noting that interest in iPhone upgrades especially peaked in September after the unveiling of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Fun sidenote: BofA garnered an average of 490 responses per day for its survey.
Also per Apple 3.0, the iPhone maker according to this survey has “material room for growth in emerging markets.” From the report:
“Our survey points to a significant opportunity for growth in both China and India. Although the upgrade intentions remain strong in India, the replacement is skewed toward lower end phones. 33% of respondents in India intend to upgrade in 2018 vs. 21% in China and the US, and 19% in the UK. In our view, Apple continues to have strong potential in China and India over the long term.”