Investment bank Cowen & Co. is raising its price target and outlook on Apple Inc. (AAPL) based on a survey of 4,500 adults in U.S. and China that indicates strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and 6+.
Cowen has raised the Apple price target to $110 from $106. Cowen is modeling sales of 120 million iPhone 6/6+ units in the first 12 months, which is above Wall St. consensus, and Cowen analysts believe those projections may be “conservative,” according to a research note published this morning by Cowen analysts Timothy Arcuri and Bryan Prohm.
The survey of 4,500 adults in the U.S. and China indicates that battery life, screen size, and chip speed of the new iPhone models are strong drivers for upgrades.
Of the installed base of approximately 200 milllion iPhone 5/5c/5s users, 58% owned a model with a core set of specifications two or more years old, and 39% of the installed base owns a model with a core set of specifications three or more years, according to Cowen’s survey. The most important features cited as influencing upgrade intentions are battery life and screen size, according to the survey.
Because these features are core to the 6/6+ story — and better processing speed is attractive to Chinese customers — Cowen believes there may be more drivers for upgrades than previously thought.
The survey also indicates that Apple may have the ability to win back some market share from Android defectors.
“Specifically, a surprisingly large ~34% of all Android users expressed unaided intent to purchase an iPhone 6/6+, while unaided intent to purchase an iPhone 6/6+ was expressed by ~61% of total iPhone users and a very high ~67% of iPhone 5, 5C or 5S users,” says the research note. “When applied to our iPhone installed base estimates, this intent implies ~130-140MM units is a reasonable expectation for the iPhone 6/6+ product cycle in the first 12mos (we believe China and the U.S. are a reasonable proxy for the global market). The large number of Android purchase intention (especially in China) potentially adds a significant number of incremental units on top of the ~130-140MM number.”