According to data released in a research note this week from investment banking-giant, Morgan Stanley, approximately 92 percent of current iPhone owners who are either “somewhat” or “extremely” likely to upgrade to a newer smartphone during the next 12 months will upgrade to a new iPhone over any other handset.
That statistic was collected and analyzed back in April, 2017, when Morgan Stanley surveyed a total of 1,000 U.S.-based iPhone owners aged 18 and up — and is up four percentage points from the 86 percent of users who responded just one year ago. It’s also Apple’s second-highest loyalty rating from Morgan Stanley to date, falling just 1 percent short of the iPhone-maker’s record 93 percent of customers who indicated their loyalty to the device back in September of 2015 — shortly after the iPhone 6s launched to much fanfare.
“It’s our belief that a maturing installed base that is accustomed to iOS and increased press around potential new technologies in the upcoming iPhone drove the strong year-over-year increase,” said Morgan Stanley analyst, Katy Huberty, in her research note, while also noting that “The rise in Apple’s loyalty rates come after Samsung, Apple’s biggest competitor in the United States, introduced the Galaxy S8, which was available for pre-order starting March 30th.”
Interestingly, Apple’s loyalty rate of 92 percent is paramount in comparison to all other vendors reported in the survey, including Samsung, who garnered a 77 percent user retention rating, LG, who lagged even farther behind at 59 percent, and finally Motorola and Nokia, who garnered just 56 and 42 percent user retention ratings, respectively.
While remaining cautiously optimistic about Apple’s future and the upcoming iPhone 8 — which could also be called the iPhone Edition — Huberty also raised her firm’s price target for shares of Apple’s stock (NASDAQ: AAPL) — from $161 per share, previously, to a modestly higher $177 per share. As of this write-up, Apple’s stock was up 0.13% in after-hours trading to $150.25 per share — after having fallen $5.22 (or 3.36%) during Wednesday trading.
The survey’s results are particularly interesting since they come in light of Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships, which actually feature a variety of exciting technologies that are expected to make their way onto Apple’s iPhone 8, such as a much larger, nearly bezel-less OLED display, wireless charging, IP68 dust- and water-proof certification, and more — all bundled up amid a markedly redesigned glass and stainless steel chassis.
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