Munster and his team spent the day counting heads and conducting interviews with customers buying the new iPhone 3GS in New York City and Minneapolis. Among their findings:
- 750,000 iPhones. Munster estimates that Apple sold about 750,000 new iPhones over the three-day weekend, 50% more than his initial prediction (500,000) but 25% less than the 1 million iPhone 3Gs Apple sold on launch last July. It took Apple 74 days to sell 1 million first-generation iPhone and three days to sell 1 million units of the iPhone 3G.
- Shrinking windfall. Among the 256 customers surveyed, 28% were switching carriers to AT&T (T), down from 38% last year and 52% in 2007. AT&T’s iPhone windfall is shrinking.
- Brand loyalty. 56% were upgrading from an old iPhone, up from 38% last year. “We believe this shows Apple is developing brand loyalty not enjoyed by other mobile phone makers,” Munster writes.
- 16GB sweet spot. 43% bought the high-end 32GB iPhone 3GS, down from the 66% who bought the high-capacity model (16GB) last year and the 95% who chose 8GB over the 4GB when the first iPhone went on sale.
- Business users. Among customers buying their first iPhone, 12% were switching from a Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry, up from 6% last year. This, says Munster, “may indicate the company is making headway among business users slowly adopting the iPhone platform for corporate use.”
Munster maintains a buy rating for Apple with a price target of $180 a share. The stock closed Friday at 139.48, up 2.6%, before the Street learned that Steve Jobs is recovering from a liver transplant.
UPDATE: Four hours and fifteen minutes after Munster issued his report to clients, Apple announced that it had actually sold more than 1 million units of the iPhone 3GS by Sunday, selling as many iPhones in eight countries as it sold in 21 last year. See here.
- Munster: 500,000 iPhones this weekend
- Live from the (relatively sedate) iPhone 3G S launch
- Inside Steve Jobs’ liver transplant