A new survey suggests that Apple may have sold its iPhone 5 to more than a third of smartphone consumers before the device is even announced, let alone on the market. The computer giant is widely believed to have an iPhone refresh up its sleeve for this fall, and the survey suggests a large share of consumers are holding off upgrades or new purchases until then.
PriceGrabber's online poll of 2,852 consumers found 35 percent are planning to grab a new iPhone, with 52 percent of them indicating they'll buy it within the first year of release; 30 percent plan to get one by the end of 2011; and 14 percent hope to buy it within the first month. Seven percent will wait online to buy it within the first week.
The survey was conducted between July 1 and 11. Then, as now, there was no word from Apple that a new iPhone is coming, though the company has released one every summer since 2007, usually in June. A variety of factors, likely including component shortages and the introduction of an iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless in February, postponed this year's refresh.
"Our survey data confirms the strong following Apple has built around its iPhone, with more than one-third of consumers planning to upgrade to the latest model only a little over a year following the release of the iPhone 4," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber, a division of credit-monitoring agency Experian. "Anticipation and brand loyalty are certainly high, but in today's 24/7 work culture and uncertain economic environment, consumers are cautious to look for a reasonably priced phone that will perform optimally over an extended time period."
Fans of the iPhone often cite the user experience, enhanced by hundreds of thousands of available apps. But the survey found that a majority who plan to get the phone, 59 percent, also believe it has a longer battery life.
Fifty-five percent are looking for a cost reduction in their next device (the lowest-priced 8GB iPhone is $199.) Forty-six percent said 4G data speed is important, while 45 percent are hoping for a bigger screen and 42 percent want an improved camera.
Better Battery Life?
Apple's iOS, due for an upgrade this fall and used in iPads and iPod touch devices as well as iPhones, also scored high in the survey, getting thumbs-up from 48 percent of survey respondents, compared with just 19 percent who prefer Google's Android OS, seven percent who favor Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 or earlier mobile systems, and six percent who like Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS.
While 69 percent of consumers said they would most like to receive an iPhone 5 as a gift, the runners-up, trailing far behind, were Motorola's upcoming Droid Bionic at seven percent, four percent for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S II, and three percent for the BlackBerry Curve.
The iPhone findings conflict with recent surveys showing that Android devices are overpowering Apple in the smartphone market. A study by Gartner Research in the first quarter found that Android-device shipments in the U.S. made up 36 percent of the market, compared to 16.8 percent for Apple.
"The desire factor on iPhone is very high," said analyst Gerry Purdy of Mobiletrax. "There are a number of people who say, 'I'd love to have an iPhone,' but when it comes time to buy, they find that the family plan doesn't allow for it or a parent doesn't allow for it, or their plan" doesn't allow an upgrade yet, he said.
"They don't have 35 percent of the market yet, but the way they are going they could certainly end up with 25 percent before long," Purdy added.
Posted: 2011-07-25 @ 8:48pm PT
Has anyone noticed that Android is always measured in "shipments" and never actual sales? I've seen that statistical slight of hand too often in the tech industry to fall for it again.
Posted: 2011-07-25 @ 6:44pm PT
Android marketshare growth flatlined at 28% over the last two quarters, while the iPhone surged from 10% to 17%. Of course this had something to do with Verzion... now that people have a choice.
I expect to see Android and the iPhone within 5% of each other by Xmas quarter.
Android tablet growth also declined...
"Breakdown by Google of Android devices in use by screen size. “Xlarge” is defined as any screen 7 inches or larger. By Google’s count, only 0.9% of activated in-use devices are tablets. Multiply that by the 135 million total Android “devices” that Larry Page announced last week during Google’s quarterly analyst call, and you get 1.21 million tablets. Compare that to the 28.73 million iPads Apple sold through the end of June."
The more carriers/countries the iPhone is on/in the faster we see Android decline.