Survey claims interest in new iPhones nears historic lows

A new survey by Wall Street research firm Cowen found that the number of current U.S. iPhone owners planning to buy a new iPhone “was near the lowest levels since conducting our survey.”

“iPhone appeal moderating across the industry,” the firm wrote in a new report. “When asked ‘what kind of cell phone do you think you will get with your next upgrade/purchase,’ the percent of postpaid respondents at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon selecting iPhone moderated vs. last quarter while at the same time just 80.5% of postpaid respondents who already have an iPhone indicated they will get one with their next upgrade/purchase, which was near the lowest levels since conducting our survey and was down from 87.6% last quarter.”

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Cowen has been conducting quarterly consumer surveys since 2013. The firm recently completed its latest quarterly survey ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings season, asking roughly 1,100 respondents about their wireless service and phone preferences. The results, according to the firm, paint a clearly concerning picture for smartphone vendor Apple.

“The moderating interest seems to reflect the higher price of the iPhone X and/or lack of compelling new features as the new iPhones collectively appear to have had only limited impact on C4Q17 sales,” the Cowen analysts wrote.

The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) finds the report hard to believe. After all, the Canalys research group today reported that Apple shipped 29 million iPhone Xs in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017, making it the world’s best-shipping smartphone model over the holiday season.