I Got a Fever, and the Only Prescription Is…More iPhone!
Here’s an interesting bit of survey data from Oppenheimer (OPY) analyst Yair Reiner, who found, like Piper Jaffray’s (PJC) Gene Munster, that a significant portion of iPhone 4 sales Thursday are upgrades purchased by existing iPhone owners (76 percent versus Munster’s 77 percent). The majority of people buying the iPhone 4 don’t particularly need it. But they’re buying it anyway.
For most folks, the device is a discretionary purchase.
“When we asked people why they were buying the iPhone 4, the vast majority indicated that their decision was driven by desire rather than need. Folks didn’t line up because their old phone was failing them in some way; they lined up because the iPhone tugged at them. Only 26 percent of the people we spoke with said that they needed a new phone. The remaining 74 percent were enticed into a discretionary purchase,” Reiner reports.
“Of respondents, 50 percent said that the iPhone 4’s new features pulled them in,” the analyst added. Of those surveyed, 11 percent said they had wanted to buy an iPhone for some time and were just waiting for the moment when they could buy the last version. Thirteen percent reported that they always buy the latest iPhone when it comes out.”
Of the 76 percent of respondents who already owned an iPhone, most were upgrading it after just 14.7 months–quite a bit faster than typical smartphone replacement cycle of 21 months. (Click on charts below to enlarge.)