IBD: Apple Not Winning As Many New iPhone Converts
Apple (AAPL) increasingly is preaching to the converted when it comes to its latest model smartphones.
A new survey shows that most iPhone 5S and 5C buyers already owned iPhones, and they aren't upgrading as fast as they used to.
Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners polled 400 consumers who activated an iPhone in the U.S. after the launch of the latest iPhones on Sept. 20. It found that 65% of iPhone 5S and 5C buyers were already iPhone users, vs. 55% a year earlier when the iPhone 5 was launched.
The survey data also indicate that the low-hanging fruit of consumers moving from feature phones to smartphones has been mostly picked. About 10% of iPhone buyers since the 5S and 5C launch were first-time smartphone buyers, down from 20% last year, CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin told IBD on Friday.
On a positive note, the number of Google (GOOG) Android smartphone users who switched to iPhone increased this go-round to 21% from 16% last fall, CIRP said.
But Apple isn't getting as many customers switching from other platforms like BlackBerry (BBRY) and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone this time out. All told, 24% of iPhone buyers switched from other smartphones since the 5S and 5C launched, vs. 26% a year ago.
The data are indicative of slowing growth in the iPhone ecosystem, Levin says.
A worrisome trend for Apple is that fewer iPhone buyers are upgrading from the most recent flagship iPhone.
"We see a noticeable decrease in the number of iPhone buyers that seem to want the latest, most advanced phone," CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz said in a press release. "For the iPhone 5S/5C, 6% of buyers upgraded from the year-old iPhone 5. In contrast, at the launch of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, 12% of customers upgraded from the year-old iPhone 4S."