Canaccord's Mike Walkley says his Sep. iPhone (AAPL) survey data points to very strong early 5S/5C sales in both the U.S. and international markets; a large base of upgrade-eligible 4S users is likely helping. Likewise, Evercore's Rob Chira is raising his FQ4 (Dec. quarter) iPhone sales forecast to 56M from 54M, citing good momentum.
BMO's Keith Bachman offers a more guarded take. A U.S./U.K./German survey turned up muted enthusiasm for the latest iPhones, and found respondents assigning only "modest value" to relying on the same brand across multiple device types. Also, Bachman thinks (like Ming-Chi Kuo and Peter Misek) 5C inventory-building had much to do with Apple's 9M launch weekend iPhone sales.
Bachmann is lowering his Apple revenue and unit sales estimates, but is also raising his EPS and margin forecasts due to a higher-than-expected price for the 5C. His PT has been raised to $508 from $480.
comScore joins Kantar in reporting the iPhone picked up some more U.S. share ahead of the 5S/5C launches. The firm estimates 40.7% of U.S. smartphone users relied on an iPhone in the June-August timeframe, up from 40.4% for May-July and 39.2% from March-May. Android's June-August share stood at 51.6%, down from 52.4% for March-May.
Earlier: 5S/5C availability, Wal-mart, India