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Analyst: 77% of iPhone 4 sales were upgrades


In a note to clients, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that 77% of iPhone sales were upgrades and that Apple has built a recurring revenue stream from a growing base of loyal users.

“While we think Apple will sell between 1.0 million to 1.5 million iPhones in the first three days (including pre-orders), the actual number is largely irrelevant,” he writes. “Apple is tapping into the global consumer spending sweet spot, mobile, and as a result iPhone numbers are going higher in the coming years.”

As reported by “Fortune” (, Munster and his team’s survey also shows that:

° Seventy-seven percent pf the iPhone 4 buyers they spoke to were upgrading from a previous version. That’s up from 56% in 2009 and 38% in 2008.

° Sixteen percent of buyers were switching carriers to AT&T, down from 28% last year.

° Fifty-four purchased the higher-capacity 32GB model, up from 43% last year.

° Twenty-eight percent already owned an iPad. Of the 72% that did not own an iPad, 39% indicated that they would likely purchase one in the next 12 months.

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