Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has explained why Berkshire Hathaway doubled its AAPL holdings in January, stating that he used his understanding of the furniture market to appreciate the strength of the iPhone …
He told CNBC that while most people might buy appliances on price, he’d noticed that it was much easier to persuade people to pay more to buy the furniture they really wanted, rather than a cheaper alternative.
“We happened to be well situated in terms of having these massive home furnishing stores. I can learn very easily how consumers react to different things there,” he said, referring to Berkshire’s ownership of Nebraska Furniture Mart. “You can’t move people by price in the smartphone market remotely like you can move them in appliances or all kinds of things. People want the product. They don’t want the cheapest product.”
He added that the iPhone had equal appeal to consumers of all ages.
Despite softer sales in the most recent quarter, consumer loyalty to the iPhone is “huge,” Buffett said. “It’s a very, very, very valuable product to people that build their lives around it. And that’s true of 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds,” he added.
As of February, Berkshire Hathaway held 57M Apple shares worth $17B at the time, and significantly more today. Buffett said at the time that ‘Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product.’