A Chink In Apple's (AAPL) Armor? - New Survey Shows Waning Interest in iPhone

November 22, 2010 10:44 AM EST
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Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) could be facing its first major problem in the smartphone wars if Goldman Sachs' new global smartphone survey is any indication.

According to the survey, new smartphone users in the U.S. would rather buy a Android (Nasdaq: GOOG) or BlackBerry (Nasdaq: RIMM) device rather than an Apple iPhone by a pretty wide margin. 27% of new smartphone users would like an Android device, 26% a BlackBerry, and just 14% want an iPhone.

The number of potential new users for Apple is below its current market share of 25%. Goldman Sachs notes, "this could reflect a pause ahead of the expected move of the iPhone to Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in early 2011 once AT&T’s exclusivity expires." However, Apple's loyalty also declined, with 62% of users planning to buy another iPhone compared to 74% in their July 2009 survey.

While this news is disheartening for Apple shareholders, Apple still leads in smartphone loyalty, with only a third of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and BlackBerry users willing to buy again.

Apple, along with Nokia, leads smartphone interest in China, with RIM far behind. According to the survey, there is 37% interest in Nokia in China, 34% in Apple and just 8% for BlackBerry.

The firm's survey has positive implications for Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), HTC, Murata and Nitto Denko. All are Conviction Buy List rated.

The survey has negative implication for Nokia, with the highest consumer
dissatisfaction levels and the lowest brand loyalty.

The survey has neutral implications for RIM and Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL).

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