Piper's Munster: 10% of iPhone Buys Targeted For Unlocked Resale

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today said checks of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail stores around the country in September found a sharp increase in unit demand for the iPhone after the recent price cut, but also found a drop-off in Mac demand following the July and August back-to-school rush.

Munster says his September checks found a 56% rise in the monthly rate of iPhone sales compared to the pre-price-cut levels in July and August, but a 39% decline in monthly Mac units from the same two months. He sees Apple selling 1.05 million iPhones in the quarter, and 2 million to 2.1 million Macs.

Munster also gave a breakdown of the iPod units in the stores he checked: he said of the iPod sales he counted, 39% were Nanos, 36% Touches, 16% Shuffles and 9% Classics. He says total sales are tracking to the Street consensus of 10.6 million total iPods for the quarter, but that the popularity of the Touch should raise the average selling price.

One other thing: Munster said that we observed many people buying the maximum 5-per-customer allotment of iPhones, which he believes were being purchased to be unlocked and operated on carriers other that AT&T (NYSE:T). He said the trend was especially noticeable in New York City stores, where he says one Apple employee acknowledged that customers were doing that. Indeed, he contends that up to 10% of the iPhones sold in September were purchased with the intent of reselling them unlocked. However, Apple of course has released an updated version of its software which makes unlocked phones inoperable, basically crushing the market for unlocked iPhones.

Apple today is off $1.81, or 1.2%, at $156.11.