The iPhone 6 is expected to have a bigger screen and, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans hope, some great new features. Of course the handset isn’t expected to be out until the fall, so currently those who are looking to buy a smartphone right now are more interested in Android than in iOS. That’s according to a survey conducted by Apple guru Gene Munster.
Apple interest wanes
The Piper Jaffray analyst reports that in the wake of the iPhone 5S launch, 50% of smartphone buyers said they intended to buy either the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 5C. In December, that percentage dropped to 44%, and then in February, it fell further to 39%. Unsurprisingly, it has edged lower again, falling to 34% this month, according to Munster.
Meanwhile, interest in Android phones has increased gradually. After Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the latest iPhone models, interest in Android was at 32%. It increased to 43% in December and edged upward again in February to 46%. Now there’s a commanding percentage of 54% of smartphone buyers who intend to purchase an Android smartphone within the next few months.
iPhone 6 dreams hold consumers back
Of course the big interest in Android right now is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s launch of the Galaxy S5. It’s expected that interest in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone will take back over in the fall when the iPhone 6 comes out. But for now, it looks like consumers are playing the waiting game to see what Apple will have to offer.
This cycle happens pretty much every year, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) dominate the smartphone market. When one launches a new phone, interest in the other wanes. This time though, some believe that even more consumers than usual may be waiting for the iPhone 6 because it is expected to have a larger screen than previous models.
Apple still strong internationally
As always though, Gene Munster remains very optimistic about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). He pointed to the March quarter’s 17% year over year growth in iPhone units, which was significantly higher than what analysts were expecting, which was in the low single-digit growth. Munster noted that his survey was focused on U.S. buyers but says that the iPhone has done exceptionally well internationally. Also the addition of China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:941) gave a boost to iPhone sales during the usually seasonally slow quarter.
Munster believes the iPhone 5S “continues to have staying power” as a third of U.S. consumers still say they plan to buy an iPhone within the next three months. He thinks that the strong iPhone number from the March quarter, plus his survey results, means that sales of the iPhone will remain strong into the launch of the iPhone 6 this fall. Most expect the handset to have a 4.7-inch display, along with other typical improvements like a faster processor and better camera. It is also expected to be quite thin. Some even believe there is a 5.5-inch model in the works as well, although the timing of the launch for that rumored device is up in the air, if it even exists at all.