updated 08:15 am EDT, Mon July 18, 2011
iPhone buying plans widen gap over Android
A new study of US smartphone adopters by ChangeWave on Monday has fueled views that iPhone momentum is outpacing Android. Of those expecting to get a smartphone in the next 90 days, 46 percent planned to get an iPhone where 32 percent expected to pick Android. The split was the widest outside of an iPhone launch since September 2009, before the Motorola Droid took off and gave Android its original relevance.
The demand for iPhones was also the highest ever for a non-launch window and was bested only by the iPhone 4 launch a year ago, when exactly half of buyers were intending to side with Apple. Demand could go higher with widely presumed plans for a September iPhone 5 launch.
Researchers put much of the reversal of fortune in the Verizon iPhone. Android and iPhone demand among new buyers was roughly even at the end of 2010, but the interest swung back dramatically in Apple's favor as soon as Verizon subscribers could choose iPhones instead of Android. Interest for Motorola was collapsing as a result, ChangeWave said: its share of buyers has dropped by a third to eight percent now that it's no longer sheltered from having to compete directly with Apple.
Demand is poised to lean in Apple's favor in the future. The addition of iCloud is considered an incentive most of all for those who already have an Apple product of some kind, at 29 percent more likely to buy in, but is also luring those who weren't attached, at 13 percent.
Smartphone satisfaction levels among existing owners was already in Apple's favor. About 70 percent of iPhone owners were "very satisfied" as of this June, where just half of Android owners said the same. RIM's BlackBerry had the least satisfaction with just 26 percent as big advocates. Windows as a whole was close at 27 percent, though it was mostly being dragged down by its legacy: the outgoing Windows Mobile was at 14 percent, but Windows Phone 7 was more popular than Android among owners at 57 percent.