Hit-and-miss Apple analyst Gene Munster has admitted he couldn’t have been more wrong about the likely customer uptake of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, the $32+ per month scheme designed to get new iPhones into the hands of people happy to pay a monthly fee to Apple.
The Piper Jaffray analyst — renowned for telling us that an Apple television set is perpetually just around the corner — originally predicted that just 15 percent of new iPhone customers would be willing to pay up for the 24-month lease program.
In a new note sent to clients, however, Munster says that out of 188 iPhone 6s buyers he surveyed in mid-November, 37 percent said they would sign up to the program. More than this, Munster now thinks the success rate for Apple’s Upgrade Program could be as high as 50 percent by the end of this quarter, and 75 percent of customers eventually.
Although the program is slightly more expensive than what you can get with a carrier, Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program comes with a few key benefits for both Apple and its customers.
In Apple’s favor is the fact that it locks customers into an ongoing iPhone upgrade cycle, while pushing more people than ever to upgrade every 12 rather than 24 months. It also establishes a large number of used iPhones which Apple can then refurbish and sell on. In customers’ favor is the fact that it lands you the latest iPhone, while also including AppleCare+ with the device, which carriers don’t do.
Of course, this is still educated guesswork. 188 would-be customers gives some indication of the likely success of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, but we’ll have to wait until the scheme rolls out to know for sure whether Munster has (now) got his figures right.
Will you be signing up to the Upgrade Program? Leave your comments below.