A recent survey of US consumers conducted by Alphawise on behalf of Morgan Stanley revealed that demand for Apple’s iPhone and iPad remains high, and is stronger than previous estimates.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty reported that according to survey data Apple could sell 31 to 36 million iPhones this quarter. These figures represent a 20% increase on Morgan Stanley’s previous model of 30 million handsets and an almost 30% increase over Wall Streets estimate of 28 million units.
According to the survey respondents, demand for iPhones is actually growing. Huberty writes “Surprisingly,” she writes, “US consumers expect to buy more iPhones in C1Q12 than C4Q11” (emphasis hers). Huberty believes Apple could sell 41 million iPhones in the first quarter, an estimate that was revised upwards from Morgan Stanley’s earlier projection of 30 million.
Morgan Stanley now expects Apple could sell 190 million iPhones worldwide in 2012.
Demand for the iPad remains strong as well. Currently only 8 percent of the US population owns a tablet, but according to the survey 27 percent plan to purchase one. Huberty forecasts that even if Apple loses 4 points of its market share to Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the company could still hope to sell 81 million iPads worldwide in 2012. Previews estimates expected total annual iPad sales in the range of 52 million (Morgan Stanley) to 54 Million (Wall Street).
Huberty also included a thought experiment involving a purely theoretical $100 price cut on the iPad. First she discounts the survey data by 30 percent. With these parameters in place Huberty estimates that if Apple dropped the price of its least expensive iPad to $399, the company would sell a whopping 90 million iPads throughout the world. Apples suppliers are notably only expected to build 80 million units.
Only time will tell if Alphawise’s survey respondents were representative of US consumers as a whole, or consumers world wide. However, even if the size of the projected iPhone and iPad sales is inflated, one thing is clear: US consumers want iPhones and iPads. It’s likely that at the very least the survey captures consumers desire for these devices even if that desire doesn’t always correlate with a future purchase.