RBC Capital’s Abramsky: Unlocked iPhones are positive for ‘recession resistant’ Apple

“RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky in a research report to clients Monday, said his checks with European resellers indicate unlocked units are accounting for as much as 40 percent of iPhone sales at some stores,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

“Abramsky also believes that unlocked iPhones comprise as much as 27 percent of US sales. Combined, he said, between 25 and 30 percent of iPhones have thus far been sold to with the intent that they’d later be operated unlocked,” Lane reports.

Lane reports, “The analyst noted that those estimates are consistent with the 25 – 35 percent of Pearl sales which handset maker RIM claims to sell without a dedicated data plan. ‘Unlocked sales, though a headache for carriers, are positive for Apple and in our view bode well for global iPhone demand (including further international demand/uptake in countries in which Apple has not yet launched), […] and for Apple exceeding its 10 million [unit] 18-month target,’ he wrote.”

“More generally, Amramsky used his report to speak favorably of Apple’s potential to weather the ongoing economic downturn, explaining that while the Cupertino-based firm is certainly not ‘recession proof,’ it exhibits signs of being ‘recession resistant,'” Lane reports.

Lane reports, “While iPod growth has undoubtedly slowed over the past four quarters, Abramsky maintains that the platform is still healthy with revenue growth of 17 percent and opportunities for the handhelds to undergo a transition to new form factors.”

More in the full article here.

Abramsky gets it.


  1. I have friends and relatives in Mexico that have been enjoying their iPhones since their initial release. My brother, currently living in Mexico City has attested to this. Everybody that want one, already has one. I would not be surprised one bit if you where to walk in to a distributor store and get one already jailbroken and unlocked.

  2. the analysts are all smoking something funny. more sales = more profits, regardless of use. yes, apple would get even more profit if someone used the phone for its intended purpose. but the reality is that the sales are showing a demand for the product, much of it in markets not yet served by an official carrier. i have friends in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia that say the demand continues to be very strong. the point is, apple’s products are so good, they are entering markets without even intending to. keeping in mind that most people around this country at least are tied into contracts with other carriers, i’d say the iphone is doing very very well thus far. i, for one, have another year to wait. the price for leaving sprint with my two lines would add another $400 in penalties for moving to ATT. still, i just might. yeah, it’s that good a phone.

  3. Well what are Apple’s products if not high performance enabling tools. What is a recession if not an admission of some form of economic inefficiency. Hence if the cream of the business crop really does their homework, Apples products will continue to be bought in ever higher numbers as people realize lower cost of ownership and higher productions efficiencies. Note even if an MBA student cant afford an MBA (Mac Book Air) they can purchase an ipod touch and use Itunes U to audit classes they intend to take while keeping up with classes they are currently taking.

  4. @biziaw
    You recall wrong.

    Apple needs to, within a six month period of it’s initial release, come to market with an unlocked version of their phone.

    This does not mean that it would sell for the same price of the locked phone, only that it will be available, by law.

    In other words currently all iPhones are sold locked.

  5. Apple did sell more iPods than ever before this last quarter. He was just talking about the “growth” of the iPod market. They only sold about 5% more iPods this year than compared to last year. So yes, they did sell more than ever, but the growth itself has slowed.

  6. I’m pretty sure that in France they are selling unlocked phones but they are going for $1000.00 Euros. I could be wrong, but that seems to be what I remember reading right before they were released in France.

  7. Don’t expect lemmings to understand that Apple may just:

    – be ‘recession resistant’

    – continue to post record year on year results

    – maintain and continue market turning strategies

    – make the competition look backward

    Apple is value.

  8. Apple are sensibly are tracking the serial numbers of iPhones from stores and the lack of activation of those particular serial numbers.

    “RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky in a research report to clients Monday, said his checks with European resellers indicate unlocked units are accounting for as much as 40 percent of iPhone sales <u>at some stores</u>,”

    “at some stores” – which stores? and how can a store be part of the equation?

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