In order to handicap how well the iPhone 4 will be received, it seems we need look no further than upgrades. Trade-ins hit the 1,000 mark on the day Apple’s latest handset was announced, a marked jumped from the 141 iPhone trade-ins when the iPhone 3GS was unveiled in 2009, according to trade-in specialist Gazelle.
More than half, or 65 percent, of the iPhones being traded-in are the 3GS, according to the company. Although the iPhone has always been popular with the geekerati, the iPhone 4 seems to have crossed the barrier into general consumer conversation, reports say.
Analysts also expect the wider base of interest to convert into higher sales for Apple. Last week, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster projected Apple could sell more than 8.7 million of the devices this quarter, topping Wall Street expectations. Fueling such expectations are upgrade offers from AT&T even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has called “generous” and an iPhone with something for everyone.
Earlier this month, AT&T announced current iPhone owners could upgrade to the 16GB iPhone 4 for $199 or $299 for the 32GB model until 2011. (After that point, add $200.)
Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer said the iPhone 4 “catapults the smartphone category forward along every axis of relevance to consumers: OS sophistication, speed, battery life, display resolution, video connectivity and camera quality.”
J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz chimed in, saying the iPhone 4 will increase both adoptions by new consumers as well as widen the existing iPhone user base. The iPhone 4 will be seen by consumers as “the must-have device for users seeking advanced wireless handset connectivity solutions,” the analyst said last week.