Apple’s Big Fall Bet – A Pair of Fives

Apple’s June 2011 Quarter numbers already tell a story of powerful expansion overseas by the iPhone product, and while Apple still sold nearly 5 million in the US between Verizon and Sprint a recent survey of current US smartphone users tells an even bigger story for Apple.

The survey was completed recently at a mall in Minnesota by Wall Street analyst Piper Jeffery. The sample size is pretty small and it may not be a representative sample, but if the survey results are representative Apple’s end of the year sales could be ridiculous. The first Five in Apple’s hand of poker is the iPhone 5. Here’s the key survey data (charts linked from Fortune’s Phillip Elmer de Witt)

Now this wasn’t a survey of recent smartphone purchasers, just a random sampling walking between Sbarro’s and Manchu Wok. It’s a little surprising consider how Google’s dominance of the smartphone market is lauded daily that the iPhone and Blackberry were still significantly ahead of Android. The bad news for RIM continues with a huge potential drop in future market share. And Android only holds serve while the iPhone could double market share.  Other key notes, of the 64% group buying an iPhone in the future, 60% of that group are waiting on the iPhone 5. Of the Verizon users in that future iPhone buying group, 75% are waiting on the iPhone 5. The numbers if they scale up indicate a huge pent up demand for the iPhone 5 in the US especially on Verizon. Finally, iPhone is putting up an amazing loyalty number of 94% versus a 47% number for Android with the 42%  of the departing 53% indicating a move to the iPhone.

The other 5 reared its’ head today with the leaked debut of iCloud’s web presence. For all the rumor chasing of the new iPhone 5, iOS 5 with full integration for the now free iCloud has been running almost silently. Until yesterday, the media has been paying very little attention to the upgraded operating system which will bring a host of new features to both new and existing devices.  It’s never just hardware with Apple, it’s hardware and software. iOS 5 is going to make the iPhone 5 even better, and Apple’s rollout of that operating system will again highlight the fragmentation and OS chaos that exists in the Android world where new phones gets released on eight month old operating systems. Additional features through timely and open software upgrades provide another piece of the Apple value puzzle, and iCloud is going to increase that value amount. If iCloud works correctly, Apple could have 100 million iCloud users within a year, and we haven’t even seen teh full integration of iCloud into iTunes or AppleTV yet. iCloud/ iOS 5 is the secret 5 that will push Apple over the top this fall.

With a pair of fives while everyone else is holding singletons, there’s a very good chance that in the US Apple could be looking at again a mother of all backlogs heading into the crucial December quarter.

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