Interest in iPhone Upgrades Up 'Significantly' Over Recent Months
In a research note to clients on Tuesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan cited the investment firm's survey of 91,000 global smartphone users across the United States, United Kingdom, India, and China. According to the report, Mohan suggests that demand for iPhones is rising across markets and that interest in upgrading to an iPhone has increased "significantly in recent months, with steady growth following the announcements of the iPhone XS and iPhone XR."
Earlier this year, the Cupertino, Calif.-based smartphone maker became the first U.S. corporation to exceed $1 trillion in market capitalization, as bulls on the Street applauded its heightened focus on software and services. Despite its high growth businesses such as Apple Music and the App Store, however, Apple continues to rely on its core iPhone business for roughly 60% of its total revenue.
Bank of America noted that 33% of respondents said they planned to upgrade to the iPhone, versus 15% who said the same for Samsung phones. Meanwhile, loyalty to Apple products remains strong across the board, with 70% of iPhone owners indicating that they will choose Apple for their next iPhone purchase.
"iPhone users' stickiness is better than the competition," wrote Mohan. "Our survey points to a significant opportunity for growth in both China and India."
With closing up 1.4% on Tuesday at $226.87, Apple stock reflects a 34.1% gain year-to-date (YTD), compared to the S&P 500's 7.7% return over the same period. Mohan's 12-month price target of $256 implies a near 13% upside.
(For more, see also: Apple to Gain 18% on Falling Chip Prices: Citi.)