By Tiernan Ray
Raymond James’s Tavis McCourt today offers up the results of his quarterly survey of the smartphone industry, compiled from responses of 500 people in the United States from March 13th to 17th, which suggest Apple’s (AAPL) shares of the market is “stabilizing” as is the share of Google’s (GOOG) Android.
McCourt, who has Outperform ratings on both Apple and Google shares, expects Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market will continue a trend of stabilizing at a little over 50%:
The percent of survey respondents who owned iPhones declined q/q to 52.3% from a high of 56% in December, but was up from 49.4% a year ago. iPhone share likely to continue to be stable: 49.7% of respondents intend to purchase an iPhone for their next smartphone, which is at the low end of the 50% to 55% range witnessed in our survey since we began in June 2012. Meanwhile, Android saw its highest level of purchase intent at 44.4%, above the consistent range of 38% to 42% since the survey began. The survey indicates still little to no interest in Blackberry or Windows Phones.
McCourt reiterates a claim he’s made before about a high degree of interest in a larger-screen iPhone:
33% of iPhone users would be willing to pay $100 more for a bigger- screened iPhone (up from 26% in our last survey). With speculation that iPhone 6 will have a bigger screen, it will be interesting to see Apple’s pricing choice. Equally interesting, only 6% of Android users in our survey found interest in a bigger screened iPhone for a $100 premium, which would indicate that a larger screen could improve upgrade rates for Apple, but likely not materially impact its subscriber base.
Android, and Samsung, despite Apple’s strength, have continued to benefit from switchers who dump the iPhone, and Android share is also stabilizing:
8% of Android smartphone users intend to switch to the iPhone for their next phone, down from 20% y/y. This has led the retention rate to improve to 89% in this survey, up from 72% y/y. In general, we believe most Android customers who were on Android because their carrier did not offer the iPhone have now already made the switch to the iPhone. This appears to be leading to the remaining Android base being similarly sticky as the iOS base in the U.S. Samsung still consolidating Android market: 49% of Android users in our survey are using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, up from 43% last quarter and 44% y/y. 57% of Android users intend to purchase a Galaxy for their next smartphone indicating that continued share gains are likely for Samsung within the Android ecosystem.
Here is McCourt’s chart of how smartphone share has been evolving in the U.S. since mid-2012 (click for larger image):
That said, the data suggest some continued share loss for Apple and share gains for Android:
The chart above summarizes respondents’ expectations for their next smartphone purchase. For the second quarter in a row, the iPhone saw lower share for those expecting to purchase an iPhone as their next smartphone than currently own an iPhone, 52.3% share of current owners vs. 49.7% share purchase intention. This portends slight share loss for iPhone in the future and it was accurate in forecasting the share decline from 56% in December to 52.3% in March. Meanwhile, Android’s share of purchase intention reached its highest level yet at 44.4%, besting the previous high of 42.4% in December 2012. Finally, Microsoft and BlackBerry purchase intention was below 3% and 1%, respectively.
Niche at best: Less than 3% of smartphone users in our survey intend to purchase a Windows Phone as their next phone and less than 1% intend to purchase a BlackBerry. These are both down sequentially, as neither platform shows any signs of momentum in the U.S.
Here’s the chart of user purchase intentions implied by the survey:
And here is what he models as the implied share shifts this quarter: