In a note out early today, Robert W. Baird analyst William Power details the results of his smartphone survey of the Big Four’s retail stores last week:
Verizon (VZ). The Motorola RAZR MAXX continues to be the most recommended Android device at Verizon,
though we believe that the iPhone 4S is the carrier’s best selling device. The MAXX’s main advantage over the rest of Verizon’s Android line continues to be LTE connectivity with better-than-average battery life. The Motorola RAZR also received a handful of recommendations based on the recent price drop to $99.
AT&T (T). The iPhone 4S and the Nokia Lumia 900 were the most recommended devices at AT&T, followed
closely by the Samsung Note and Samsung Skyrocket. The Lumia is still receiving a significant amount of
hype from AT&T representatives and many we spoke with actually owned the device personally.
Sprint (S). The Samsung Epic 4G Touch and the iPhone 4S remain the top devices, though we also received
some recommendations for the LG Viper, Sprint’s first LTE smartphone. The Motorola Photon also continues
to receive modest recommendations.
T-Mobile. The HTC One S, which launched late last week, was the most recommended device at stores we contacted. Reps highlighted its sleek design and improved camera functionality over previous Android
devices as points of differentiation. The Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Amaze also continued to receive
Power notes that Apple (AAPL) is still his top pick among device makers, given its growing market share: “Apple has established itself as the premium provider in the burgeoning smartphone market. We expect the company to further expand its market position, while also capitalizing on anumber of newer growth initiatives, including the iPad, which we believe is early in its growth cycle. Risks includeincreasing competition from Android, high expectations from the Street and a decline in iPod sales. AAPL iscurrently trading at 13.0x our calendar 2012 EPS estimate and 10.6x calendar 2013. That compares to HTC and RIMM at 7.4x and 13.3x our 2013 estimates, respectively. Our $740 target price is based on 13x our calendar 2013interest-adjusted EPS estimate of $52.98. A 13x multiple reflects a slight premium to the big-cap tech group atroughly 11x, which we believe is justified by higher-than-average growth.”