Siri Drives 55% of iPhone 4S Purchases in NYC

Siri on the iPhone 4S
Siri, Apple’s new voice control and interaction technology for the iPhone 4S, was “the most exciting feature driving purchases” of Apple’s new iPhone, according to a survey of 195 people waiting in line to buy the device Friday morning at Apple Store in New York City. The survey was conducted by UBS analyst Maynard Um, who told clients on Friday that demand was likely to outstrip supply of the new device.

The survey was offered to Mr. Um’s clients as a snapshot look of what was driving early adopters to buy Apple’s new iPhone 4S. Among those 195 respondent, the survey found that 39% planned on getting a 32GB model, while 19% planned on buying a 64GB mode. The remaining 42% planned to buy the 16GB unit.

This compares to 64% who planned to buy the 32GB iPhone 4 in the summer of 2010 when that device was released. He noted that while the product mix was likely to skew lower after early adopters have sated their demand for the new iPhone, “the initial mix should be positive for gross margins.”

He also found that 74% of those waiting in line in New York City were AT&T customers and that 75% were upgrading an existing iPhone. Some 33% of them were upgrading from iPhone 4, about 24% from iPhone 3GS, and another 18% from an iPhone 3G. 10% were switching from BlackBerry, while 5% were switching from both HTC and LG.

Other tidbits from the survey included the finding that 70% of respondents said they would buy an Apple TV set if the company were to make one. At the same time, only 52% said they had an iPad, and 67% owned a Mac.

Lastly, Mr. Um selected several quotes he identified as “interesting,” including the following:

  • Would you buy an Apple TV set? Answer: “I’ll buy a car if they made one” What is the best feature of iPhone 4S? Answer: “It’s not Android”
  • What phone are you replacing? Answer: “None, my 3GS was stolen a week ago. No phone for a week was an interesting life lesson”
  • What phone do you currently have? Answer: (Big Smirk) “The first iTunes phone ever, the Motorola ROKR. I think its time for an upgrade.”
  • “This will be my first smartphone”

UBS maintained its US$510 price target for shares in AAPL and a “Buy” rating on the stock. The stock set a new closing high on Friday, ending the week at $422.00, a gain of $13.57 (+3.32%), on moderate volume of 20.5 million shares trading hands. That’s just sort of the intra-day high of $422.86 set on September 20th, 2011.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.