Bring Out The Bull Horns: New Surveys Show Apple Mobile Growth Ahead Of Q1 Earnings

Most investors are expecting a record quarter for Apple, and three new surveys out today are adding to the evidence. Taken together with exciting recent rumors, like the one that Apple might open stores within Target stores, it’s not surprising to see analysts falling over themselves to upgrade their estimates ahead of Apple’s Q1 earnings call on January 24th.

First off, NPD Group says that iOS devices made up 43% of US sales in October and November versus 26% in the previous quarter. Android sales, meanwhile, fell from 60% to 47% over the same period.

A key reason for the latest iOS sales is that Apple began selling the new iPhone 4S and reduced costs for older models in the last three months of 2011. Many analysts had been expecting higher sales over the last part of the summer, and were taken off-guard by Apple’s decision to push the launch to later in the year. As the TechCrunch Apple Group noted over the weekend, if you sold your Apple stock after the company missed earnings estimates in October, you were, in fact, an idiot.

Next up, a new Yankee Group survey indicates that while 25% of shoppers it talked to already owned an iPhone, 35% of everyone surveyed planned to buy one in the next six months. Android, meanwhile, stayed unchanged at 40%. Beyond attrition on other platforms, Apple is soaking up the interest from people who don’t yet own a smartphone. While 47% of the people in the study already have one, 58% of the surveyees said they planned to buy one within the next half a year.

ChangeWave Research rounds out the bullish surveys by saying that 54% of the people in its study were planning on buying an iPhone within the next three months, down from a high of 65% in September (which had been driven in part by strong interest in the 4s release). However, the group also indicated that Samsung had been making big gains with its Android phones, with 13% of those polled expecting to buy from the manufacturing conglomerate in December versus 5% in the September survey.

Apple is currently trading at $423.5 a share, up from a recent low of $363 after Thanksgiving.

[Top image via Heather Cherry.]