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Survey: Microsoft, Motorola hit hardest by iPhone

updated 11:55 am EDT, Wed April 2, 2008

Habits of iPhone owners

A new survey by Rubicon Consulting purports to have revealed some of the demographics of iPhone owners. Pollsters contacted 460 American iPhone customers, and questioned them on factors such as income, data use, and other devices they own. Results indicate that approximately half of iPhone owners are under the age of 30, although only 15 percent are students. Notably, 75 percent of these already owned some form of Apple product, whether an iPod or a Mac. The company may thus have problems trying to push the iPhone onto a mainstream population.

In terms of use, 25 percent of respondents said the iPhone actually takes the place of a notebook in many cases, and in 90 percent of circumstances has permanently replaced another phone. In this regard, Motorola and Microsoft are said to have been the greatest losers with the arrival of the iPhone; almost 25 percent of iPhone owners upgraded from Motorola's RAZR, and 33.9 percent switched away from a phone based on Windows Mobile.

Microsoft may in fact be faced with "severe challenges" in the realm of smartphones, according to Rubicon's Michael Mace. While Apple merely threatens Windows Mobile with a popular, individual product, Google is giving its Android platform away for free, in some cases to phone makers currently licensing Windows Mobile. Mace suggests therefore that in order to compete, Microsoft may be forced either to create its own phone, or to release a free mobile operating system. As the company recently purchased Sidekick-maker Danger, Mace believes the company may be attempting to produce its own device.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    Danger

    If I remember correctly, Danger is also an OS maker, not a hardware maker. I believe they OEM the actual handsets. If that is correct, then the move to buy Danger was just to reduce the number of competitors and gain a popular consumer brand (the Sidekick). Both aspects of this seem like likely responses to the introduction of the iPhone.

  1. addisonx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2002

    0

    ipod isn't mainstream?

    "Notably, 75 percent of these already owned some form of Apple product, whether an iPod or a Mac. The company may thus have problems trying to push the iPhone onto a mainstream population."

    The iPod isn't mainstream? And 12% computer share seems pretty mainstream to me too.

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Free M$

    Wouldn't that be ironic? Microsoft would have to take something that they currently make money on and give it away for free in order to compete. Hmmm...seems like Google took a page from Microsoft's playbook. Former Netscape employees rejoice!

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    I just heard yesterday

    Hmm according to the MS executives they are pretty confident we are all going to use Windows Mobile for the rest of our lives. :-)

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Danger -> ZunePhone

    Danger also has a cut in the phone subscriptions so more than probably we'll see MS yet again try to make a blatant copy of the iPhone. That won't be easy this time, the combination osX, 'open' SDK and iTunes is an almost unbeatable combination.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    meaningless

    A poll of iPhone users doesn't really tell you much about other products. At least polls asking smartphone owners what they just bought and why, and what it was replacing, would be more informative. (Prospective buyer polls are just as useless, since just because someone thinks they might buy x or y, doesn't mean they will).

    Then again, as is often pointed out here, statistics can be made to say whatever someone wants, and, therefore are generally useless.

  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 1999

    0

    mainstream

    I think the iPod has become so ubiquitous, (you cant throw a rock in new york without hitting an iPod owner) that I don't see it as a mainstream-lacking product. Plus, those simple iPhone ads dont hurt either

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004

    0

    Useless poll?

    Testudo, If you want to get demographics and influences on iPhone users, polling them is not useless. If you are a competitor this information is very useful. I am not sure what you do for a living, but I hope it is not research or marketing related.

  1. SubPop

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    ipod/mac mainstream

    They should have distinguished "previous Apple product owners" with "previous iPod" and "previous Mac" owners. If 75% of iPhone owners have owned Macs, then I'd agree that the iPhone might be a Mac user's "thing" and have a problem entering the mainstream. I don't think (as others have said) that the iPod is in such a niche that you could come to the same conclusion.

  1. SubPop

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    useless poll? (re: clev)

    I think Testudo's point is that the poll has a bit of a narrow focus to conclude anything useful. It's making the same mistake as asserting that the sale of ice cream causes drownings because drownings and ice cream sales numbers are highly positively correlated (which they are, pretty much everywhere in the world).

    If you don't know the demographics and influences of users who buy competing products, then you can't differentiate which demographics and influences differ, if any. (from a research and marketing standpoint, this information is FAR more important than just knowing who people are and what they like).

    As far as the conclusion that "Microsoft and Motorola are hardest hurt by the iPhone". By polling only iPhone users, there's still a skewed result. For example, suppose that all the influences and demographics between both iPhone users and "Other" SmartPhone users are the same, except that 75% of iPhone users have owned Apple products in the past, and only 10% of "Other" cell phone users have not. If this were the case, given how large the cell market is compared to the Mac/Music player martket, this conclusion would probably be invalid (it would suggest that those people who don't intend to buy an iPod or a Mac will be unlikely to buy an iPhone). If, instead, the statistic is about the same for "Other" cell phone users, then this conclusion may be valid (again, as long as there isn't some other significant difference).

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