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Should Apple Investors Still Care About Slumping iPhone Demand?

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Should Apple Investors Still Care About Slumping iPhone Demand?

The last thing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) investors want to hear is that iPhone demand is falling. Unfortunately, a new survey from 451 Research indicates just that.

The survey of more than 4,000 North American consumers revealed that near-term smartphone buying intent recently dropped to a nine-year low. The 90-day buying intent fell to only 8.3 percent, down from 10.5 percent a year ago.

Analyst's Optimism Post-Survey

However, according to UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, there is a silver lining for Apple. Milunovich pointed out 38 percent of potential buyers intend to opt for an iPhone. While that number is down from 46 percent a year ago, it still easily topped the percentage of respondents intending to buy a Samsung Electronic (OTC: SSNLF) device (22 percent).

In addition, there’s an obvious reason customers are holding off on buying a new iPhone.

“Less demand now could mean more later as long as the retention rate remains high,” he explained.

Apple’s long-term retention rate of 80 percent is well above Samsung’s 52 percent rate, and Apple customers are likely just holding out for the 10-year anniversary iPhone 8 due out later this year.

UBS is certainly not worried about the survey results. The firm maintains a Buy rating and $151 price target for Apple.

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Latest Ratings for AAPL

DateFirmActionFromTo
Dec 2019MaintainsOverweight
Nov 2019ReiteratesBuy
Nov 2019MaintainsOverweight

View More Analyst Ratings for AAPL
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