Shoppers looking at Apple's iPhone leaning towards Plus models, mid-tier memory, survey finds
A larger proportion of people are now choosing Plus-sized iPhone models, while about half of buyers are picking mid-tier storage, according to an RBC Capital Markets survey shared with AppleInsider.
In a group of over 6,000 people, 46 percent of prospective iPhone buyers said they plan to get a Plus — whether the 6s Plus or the 7 Plus, said RBC analyst Amit Daryanani. That's up from 38 percent of people interested in Plus models a year ago. The increase is likely because of the 7 Plus, Daryanani suggested, owing to its "comparatively richer feature set" — presumably referring to its dual-lens camera allowing for 2x optical zoom and a forthcoming "Portrait" mode that blurs backgrounds.
Meanwhile, the number of people leaning towards mid-tier storage has shrunk year-over-year, from 55 percent to about 50 percent, the analyst noted. That may be linked to Apple's decision to raise the minimum storage on iPhones to 32 gigabytes, which is significantly more practical than the previous 16 gigabytes.
For Apple however, the shift to Plus purchases is expected to more than compensate for people choosing cheaper storage, and the survey also indicated an uptick in related products and services. The number of people interested in an Apple Watch rose from 13 percent to 17 percent, while Apple Pay usage is now at 24 percent, up from 16 percent "post initial launch."
RBC is increasing its revenue and earnings-per-share estimates for the September quarter from $46.9 billion and $1.66 to $47.3 billion and $1.68. December-quarter forecasts are up as well, from $78 billion and $3.29 to $78.7 billion and $3.34.
Accordingly the firm is holding its "Outperform" rating on Apple stock, and increasing its price target to $125.