A Good Reason to Expect Another Apple Earnings Blowout

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How good is the iPhone? Demand for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iOS devices is rising faster than all other North American alternatives, a new ChangeWave Research report says. Of the 4,163 consumers surveyed, 48% said they planned to purchase an iPhone within the next 90 days.

Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android operating system also fared well -- no surprises there -- with 32% gravitating toward the robot, while Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) BlackBerry looked black and blue by comparison. Only 4% preferred RIM's technology, the lowest level in the history of the ChangeWave survey.

Interestingly, RIM wasn't the only iPhone casualty identified in the report; Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) also lost ground. Only 8% planned to purchase a Moto handset in the next 90 days, down 4 percentage points from ChangeWave's March survey. Strong demand for the Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) iPhone appears to be the cause, the research firm said in a press release. Add it all up, and it appears that analyst projections for 15 million to 17 millions iPhones sold during the last quarter may have been conservative.

Do you agree? Will Apple blow away estimates yet again when it reports tomorrow? Please vote in the poll below, and then leave a comment to tell us what you think is driving the iPhone's success.  You can also add Apple to your watchlist for up-to-date analysis as soon as it's published.

Fool contributorTim Beyers is a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdings andFoolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Google and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 6:08 PM, SkippyJohnJones wrote:

    I think smartphones are reaching a point where incremental hardware improvements won't drive sales. An extra megapixel in the camera or 20 minutes of battery life don't mean much to potential shoppers. Theoretically smartphones should be commoditizing, dropping in price, and negatively impacting iPhone margins.

    Fortunately for Apple, the driving decision for buyers is not price but user experience. Because most smartphones are bought on contract with carriers, customers are blind the the real cost of high-end phones. Most don't realize they are buying $500-700 devices. Carriers will subsidize the purchase to somewhere between $0 and $199 regardless of actual value, and iPhones are sold as cheap as $49 (3GS). With this in mind, there doesn't appear to be a race to cheaper hardware as with PCs. Any price competition is in the wholesale market, and is to the severe detriment of Android OEMs.

    Android is NOT the next Windows. Apple is holding pretty great cards with iOS, iTunes, iPad, and (soon) iCloud. Their proprietary tech has created a solutions suite that has an appreciably better overall user experience than anything their competitors can provide. The App Store is the envy of the industry, and not just for its sheer volume of selection. Users can easily find exactly what they are looking for and download without fear of compatibility issues or viruses.

    Obviously Apple needs to keep their foot on the gas and continue innovating. But today's smartphone shoppers are buying based on experience rather than specs. iPhone4 is the best option in the market, bar none. Nobody in camp Android seems to be making a product that stands apart from the crowd. There are plenty of great options, but none are anywhere near as unique as the way that iPhone. This is why Moto is struggling; Samsung and HTC phones look and behave exactly the same as their products. ALL ANDROID PHONES fit into one ChangeWave survey category, while iPhone sits in a category by itself. In aggregate, Android will continue to do well. But on a device-by-device basis, iPhone blows away the competition.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 7:26 PM, jekoslosky wrote:

    Consider also that we should soon be starting an upgrade cycle for desktops, an area where Apple has been fast gaining market share.

    And I have yet to see anyone gaining on Apple in tablets.

    There's a lot to like about Apple now, which is why I finally abandoned my long-held prejudices about the stock (detailed here:

    I expect another earnings beat.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 7:32 PM, lucasmonger wrote:

    I don't think you can use the Changewave numbers as a predictor for this week's Apple financial report. Changewave asked who was pllanning to upgrade in the next 90 days. Obviously every iPhone owner who purchased a 3GS two years ago will answer yet to that question, but they are probably waiting for the next announcement from Apple, not buying an iPhone 4 right now. Look at graph and you'll wee the previous two years spiked dramatically during this timeframe because Apple was shipping iPhones. This year, the increase is a bit slower, probably because of the rumors that iPhones will come later. So concluding that Apple will blow away their numbers based on this information might be flawed. Of course they might still blow the numbers away because of pent up verizophone sales, ipad 2, and everything else in their portfolio (except the hobby AppleTV)

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 1:35 AM, peterpallesen wrote:

    I think there are an incredible number of Fool Apple Fanboys. The Apple bubble will topple, not a matter of if but when.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 3:57 AM, gregmrobb wrote:

    Apple is the digital revolution for people.

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