So bad they’re good: iPhone 8 survey results


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Is this glass half full or half empty? Is it even a glass? What is water? What if it was fire instead?

The progression of these questions may seem odd, but that’s just how you start thinking about Apple survey results if you write for CNBC.

Todd Haselton gives us the bad news where by “news” we mean “a wild guess” and by “bad” we mean “good”.

“Nobody wants to buy a $1,000 iPhone, Barclays says.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Kendall Lister and Philip Speicher.)

Yes, nobody likes you, unannounced iPhone. Everybody hates you. Please… [gestures to buffet of worms] Enjoy.

Barclays has bad news for Apple if…

…Apple is looking for a nonsense survey that has been laughably misinterpreted.

Hey, you never know. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

…it decides to price the its upcoming high-end iPhone at more than $1,000.

Barclays and Haselton seem baffled that if you ask people if they want to pay more for a phone without them actually having seen it, most of them might demur. Indeed it is very strange. Nigh inexplicable. Usually people are just walking down the street throwing wads of cash everywhere.

What percentage did they expect to say “Yes, I’d love to pay more!”? Because the percentage that did is actually pretty big.

In an investor note, Barclays said that just 11 percent of its survey respondents would spend more than $1,000 on an iPhone.

This is 11 percent of consumers?! That is huge. It’s monstrously large. Was Barclays just tooling around Greenwich, Conn. leaning out of the window of a Tesla asking people “Say, my good chaps, would you mind paying more for an iPhone?” and one out of 10 Thads, Mipseys and Uncle Pennybags were like “Why, most assuredly, chum!”?

First of all, as the Macalope has been pointing out for the better part of a decade, surveys of buying intentions are notoriously useless, particularly when the thing in question hasn’t even been announced. Second, given Apple’s market share, selling its high-end pro iPhone to 11 percent of consumers would be really good. The most expensive iPhone 7 Plus is $969 and there’s no way it has an 11 percent market share on its own.

Most folks only want to spend $582, or $48.50 per month on a 12-month device installment plan.

Yeah, the horny one would like a miniature donkey, a sassy robot butler and free cake. But he’d take just the cake if it comes down to it.

If this survey has any meaning at all (which is doubtful), it’s nothing but good news for Apple. But, naturally, it’s dressed up as bad news.

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