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Apple’s iPhone Tops Tech Gift Lists This Holiday Season

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Dec. 2 2016, Updated 1:59 p.m. ET

Consumer interest in the iPhone jumps to 7.2%

Apple (AAPL) may have a stronger holiday quarter this year if a survey finding by Piper Jaffray turns out to be true. Piper Jaffray says the iPhone tops the list of consumers’ wish lists of tech items this holiday season.

Piper Jaffray surveyed 1,000 respondents in the US, and 7.2% of them said they are looking forward to buying an iPhone. This year’s response compares with iPhone interest of 5.2% during the 2015 holiday season.

Coming after the iPhone on consumer wish lists this holiday season is the MacBook, commanding 2.1% interest among the respondents surveyed by Piper Jaffray. Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox, Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation, and GoPro’s (GPRO) cameras are the other hot holiday tech items.

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Shrinking iPhone sales

The uptick in consumer interest in the iPhone suggests that Apple (AAPL) may sell more iPhones in this year’s December quarter than it did in the same period in 2015. Apple is already battling sliding iPhone sales, recently reporting its third consecutive quarter of declining revenues.

Apple shipped 45.5 million iPhones in the September quarter, above the consensus estimate for 44.8 million unit but below 48.1 million units shipped in the same period in 2015.

The iPhone is a crucial product for Apple because it contributes to the bulk of the company’s revenues and profits. That explains why sliding iPhone sales have put pressure on Apple’s management and stock. A strong holiday quarter may help Apple reverse its slipping performance in the smartphone market.

This holiday season, Apple is betting on the iPhone 7, its newest model, to drive sales. The device features an improved camera and battery, as well as a faster processor. Apple also did away with the audio jack in the iPhone 7, improving the device’s water resistance.

The move by Samsung (SSNLF) to recall its Galaxy Note 7 over the risk of explosion could also lend support to Apple’s iPhone sales this holiday season.

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