Consumers are ready and waiting for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to launch a bigger iPhone this year. Raymond James analysts did a smartphone survey earlier this month and have released their findings. They say Apple still enjoys strong loyalty among users and, as another recent survey found, that the iPhone 6 might steal a little bit of the market share from Android.
Apple fans remain loyal
In a report dated June 25, 2014, analysts Tavis McCourt and Daniel Toomey shared the results of their U.S. smartphone survey. They found a slight increase in iPhone ownership year over year. This year 51.3% of those they surveyed own an iPhone, and last year, 50.2% did.
The analysts also found that those who expect to buy an iPhone as their next smartphone was about flat year over year at 54.7%, compared to 55% last year. It’s slightly higher than the 49.7% who said in March that they were planning to buy an iPhone for their next smartphone.
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In terms of retention, they said Both Apple and Android enjoy more than 80% retention rates. Apple’s retention rate is a commanding 91.4%, however, while Android’s is only 82%. They also noted that as has been the case for a long time, iPhone users are more likely to upgrade soon, with 48.4% of them saying they’re likely to upgrade, compared to just 37.1% of Android users.
Demand for a bigger iPhone remains high
McCourt and Toomey said they think that a larger iPhone will bump up Apple’s share of the smartphone market a bit, and their survey indeed seems to back up this theory. They say 13.7% of Android users are planning to switch to an iPhone, while just 7.4% plan to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone.
They also found that 21% of all smartphone owners who participated in their survey would pay $100 extra for a bigger iPhone. That’s consistent with the results for this question in the last two surveys they did. They expect that the iPhone 6 will come in a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch model but that only the 5.5-inch model will cost $100 extra.
The analysts report that a third of current iPhone owners are willing to pay an extra $100 for a bigger iPhone, which they say suggests that there’s a lot of pent-up demand for the larger iPhone 6 models that are expected this year.
Apple iWatch, iTV interest is only niche
The Raymond James team also looked into possible demand for Apple’s rumored iWatch and iTV. They say broad interest in an Apple-branded smart watch was 10%, while interest among iPhone users was slightly higher at 13.5%. Interest in an Apple-branded smart TV was better, with broad interest at 25%. All of these percentages were a bit lower than they were in their previous surveys. They summed up all of their findings about purchase intentions for Apple products and products made by its competitors in this graph:
The analysts note that Apple would have some work to do in order to convince consumers that they need its new products, although the company has been good at this. They say that even these small percentages can result in some “pretty big numbers,” as there are now more than 300 million iPhone users around the globe.