Apple’s iPhone is a Holiday Darling

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Using comments made on Twitter and after surveying hundreds of users, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has gauged that demand for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 has grown in the three months since its launch and remains strong even after the emergence of the maps app issue.

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One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework focuses on the company’s performance when compared with rivals. According to Munster’s survey, 53.3 percent of respondents were now intending to buy the iPhone, up from 47.7 percent in a survey conducted in September. At the same time, interest in Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones fell in September, but has remained steady since. Interest in Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone devices and Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry remains woefully short.

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Android purchase interest dropped to 35.5 percent from 39 percent three months ago, intent for a Windows-based phone fell to 6.5 percent from 8.7 percent, and intent for a BlackBerry rose to 4.9 percent from 4.7 percent, Barron’s said.

What Does This Imply for Apple?

“More specifically, over the past two weeks, the demand index is up an average of 36 percent year-over-year and we note that this is the iPhone 5 demand ahead of Christmas, when some may be waiting to be gifted the device, compared to the 4S, which would be in January given the 2.5 month comparison,” Munster wrote.

The analyst, who has an Overweight rating on Apple shares and a $900 price target, is predicting the company will sell 45 million iPhones this quarter.

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