updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue May 1, 2007
Markitecture iPhone Survey
Despite a clear level of interest, few are actually willing to buy the iPhone when it launches, say the results of a newly published Markitecture survey. A study of 1,300 people who both own and pay for their cellphones has shown that 77 percent of survey takers were at least partly aware of the iPhone -- a feat before the actual launch, the researchers say -- only 6 percent of those who responded said they were likely to commit to buying the device within the next year. Two thirds of respondents were even certain that they wouldn't buy the phone with what they knew.
The response wasn't due to strictly negative feedback, according to Markitecture. Of those who had heard the most about the handset, a full 83 percent said they came away with a strongly favorable impression of the device. The factors listed for declining to buy the iPhone were familiar issues, particularly the minimum $499 price for the touchscreen device and the necessity of switching away from an existing carrier or contract.
However, the seemingly low adoption rate may actually bode well for the device, te research firm claims. The sheer size and fractured nature of the market means that few cellphone manufacturers can hold an especially large share of sales, especially with individual phone models. A literal translation of the intent shown in the survey to actual sales could be very beneficial for Apple.
"While 6% may appear low for a
high-profile product launch, it actually may actually be very strong," Markitecture said. "The highly successful Motorola RAZR after its launch in 2004 achieved a 6% market share at its peak."
Still, the research suggested that much could be done to improve the appeal of the phone in the long run, such as creating a lower-priced model. A long-term contract with AT&T may have also been a mistake that unnecessarily limited the number of customers, the firm said.