"Our proprietary UBS Evidence Lab study is positive for Apple," wrote Steve Milunovich in a note to clients Tuesday.
Positive for Apple, negative for Samsung.
Among the findings of a four-country survey 4,000 smartphone owners:
- About 40% of respondents said they were likely to buy an iPhone 6 in the next year.
- Over half were leaning toward the higher-margin iPhone 6 Plus, compared with 38% for the iPhone 6.
- Demand in China was particularly high with 29% indicating they were very likely to buy the latest iPhone.
- More striking is Apple's retention rate in China, which at over 80% "soars above Samsung and domestic brands" (see bar chart below)
- Over 70% of iPhone 6 buyers say they are at least somewhat likely to use Apple Pay.
- Almost one-third of interested iPhone buyers currently own Samsung phones, foreshadowing "significant share gain for Apple."
"This share shift is stunning," writes Milunovich. "Typically in CIRP surveys about 15-20% of iPhone buyers are migrating from Samsung."
Milunovich, who rates Apple a buy, raised his price target Tuesday to $125 from $115.
"Apple has captured the most valuable real estate in the world," he concluded, "a position in the minds of consumers."
Click to enlarge.
[Methodology: The survey was sent out online to a representative panel of consumers based on gender, age, and income distribution across the USA, UK, Italy, and Mainland China in October 2014. In total 4,000 respondents qualified, of which 1,000 were in each market. The margin of error for whole sample responses is between +/-1.66 (total sample) and +/-2.53 (individual countries).]