Fewer consumers want the new iPhones than the iPhone 7 last year, survey shows

Valery Sharifulin | TASS | Getty Images

A customer at a re:Store shop in the GUM department store as Apple's latest smartphones iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus officially go on sale in Russia.

Fewer customers want Apple's newest iPhones than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus when it was released last year, a Wall Street research survey shows.

Results from a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets found that 64 percent of prospective iPhone buyers want an iPhone X, 8 Plus or 8. That's shy of the 71 percent of prospective buyers who preferred an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus last year after its release.

"Outlook on units could be less positive in the initial months," wrote RBC Capital Markets' Amit Daryanani in his Sunday note to clients. "On aggregate, 64 percent of prospective iPhone buyers preferred the new generation of iPhones, which is slightly lower than 71 percent for iPhone 7/7+ models last year."

"We think this is likely due to Apple not phasing out iPhone 6s and giving a wider offering to customers," he added.

The survey included over 4,000 individuals and asked respondents about their technology usage and phone purchasing plans among other topics.

Apple stock has struggled since the announcement of the new iPhones in September, losing about $50 billion in market value over the past month, falling 6 percent. Though questions surrounding demand for the latest generation remain, Apple is still one of the market's best-performing large-cap stocks, surging 33 percent since January, outpacing the S&P 500's 13 percent.

To be sure, RBC is still positive on Apple overall and raised its 12-month price target thanks to the iPhone X's steeper price tag. The analyst noted that over half of prospective buyers opted for the higher storage model in the survey, encouraging him that higher prices may prove to be positive for Apple's margins.

Daryanani has been largely positive on Apple, saying that the technology company is still on track to become the first trillion dollar company as recently as August. The analyst raised his 12-month price target to $180, representing 17 percent upside from Friday's close.


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