The decline is within the survey's 3.5 point margin of error but shows that the percent of Americans thinking "Apple" products for the holidays is at best stagnant and, at worst, down. If that translates into broader sales growth declines, it could be trouble for a stock trading on Wall Street expectations for tens of millions of unit sales and growing market share.
Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves recently called for investors to reduce their Apple exposure, in part, because he doesn't see new user growth. "We believe extraordinary replacement activity, rather than stronger than expected new iPhone user growth, is driving much of the strength.'' He does believe Apple will have a good holiday season but that sales could fall off from there.
Read MoreAmericans plan to spend most in 5 years this Christmas
"We see risk that the positive impact of strong … iPhone sales will be replaced by renewed concerns of market saturation and decelerating iPhone growth," Hargreaves said.