Gene Munster: 'The iPhone 5 Is A Rolex Among A Sea Of Timexes'

iPhone 5 white and black models

Photo: AP

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has a new note out this morning on Apple and the iPhone 5.He got some hands-on time with it, and he says the redesign is more significant in person than it looks in photos.

He also says all other smartphones feel like cheap Timex watches compared to the iPhone, which is a Rolex. In this case though, you can get the Rolex for the same price as the Timex.

Here’s the note:

We believe that while the media bubble around the iPhone 5 has met the phone launch with mixed opinion, the reality is that when actual consumers have the product in hand, we believe they will be impressed. We view the iPhone 5 as the Rolex of smartphones in terms of quality and build, while the majority of other phones are dominated by lesser quality plastic and feel more like Timexes. Why would someone by a Timex when they can have a Rolex for the same price? Additionally, we believe that consumer sentiment around the iPhone 5 is significantly better than it was for iPhone 4S despite the lack of excitement by the tech media. We remain confident in our 6-10 million unit estimate for iPhone 5 for the remainder of September and 49 million iPhone estimate for December.

  • Consumers Could Be Happier With iPhone 5 Than Reports May Indicate. We believe that pictures and video of the new iPhone 5 do not sufficiently convey the level of upgrade the product represents. We were able to see and hold the device following the launch and believe there are two aspects that will pleasantly surprise consumers. First, we believe the actual feel and build of the phone is beyond that of any prior iPhone iteration. Second, we believe the weight difference between the iPhone 5 and the 4S is meaningful and consumers will notice the difference in their pocket, despite the larger screen size.
  • Consumer Sentiment On iPhone 5 Significantly Ahead Of iPhone 4S. Based on an analysis of Twitter traffic surrounding the iPhone 5 launch by Investing Analytics, we believe that tweets about iPhone 5 for launch day were up 460% y/y compared to tweets about the iPhone 4S during its launch day. The same data also suggests that blog posts about the iPhone 5 launch were up 100% y/y. Most importantly, we believe the sentiment around iPhone 5 was significantly better than that of the iPhone 4S. Based on the same study by Investing Analytics, we believe that 73% of tweets about the iPhone 5 during launch day were positive compared to 51% for the iPhone 4S launch. We believe this is to be expected given the phone is redesigned while the iPhone 4S was not. More importantly the positive reception of the phone gives us greater confidence that Apple can not only meet our 6-10 million iPhone 5 unit estimate for the rest of September, but also hit our 49 million unit estimate for the December quarter, which assumes 32% y/y growth.

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