Piper Jaffray: most folks still don’t know how cool the ‘iPhone 8’ (or ‘iPhone X’) will be

In a note to clients — as noted by Business Insider — Piper Jaffray says “the nature of the coming "iPhone 8" upgrade (shown in a fanciful mockup) still hasn't got through to many ordinary people” as only 16% of 400 iPhone owners surveyed said they expected to upgrade.

Still, the research firm expects to see bigger sales growth for the iPhone 8 than any previous iPhone launch, with the exception of the “smash hit” iPhone 6. They predict 12% year-on-year sales growth, versus 36% for the iPhone 6.

"In addition to a more robust upgrade in terms of form/function, we believe iPhone X units will benefit from a large iPhone installed base that will be ~2 years old (or older) by the late Sep-17 launch," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote, using the term "iPhone X" to refer to the upcoming Apple smartphone.

"Specifically, our analysis suggests that at the time of iPhone X launch there will be an installed base of ~330M users on an iPhone that's at least 2 years old (see details in table below),” writes the research firm. “We believe a sizable portion of these users, in addition to users with newer devices, will look to upgrade due to the age of their device and the more significant changes to the device. Our model assumes Apple sells ~242M iPhones in the 12 months following iPhone X launch.”

Another research group, UBS, says it doesn’t think the iPhone 8 (or iPhone X) will have prices ranging from $999 to $1,199. Analyst Steven Milunovich predicts only two tiers of the high-end smartphone, priced at $900 and $1,000.