updated 02:20 pm EDT, Wed September 28, 2011
InMobi claims extremely high iPhone 5 interest
InMobi in a tentative study Wednesday claimed that a full 41 percent of North American cellphone owners planned to buy an iPhone 5. The interest, including Canada, Mexico, and the US, would have just over 50 percent of interested people buying within half a year. That number was built on assumptions of a new model and might drop to 15 percent if it turned out to be a mild update.
Apple might get a wide swath of converts as well, the study claimed. As many as 52 percent of BlackBerry owners would switch if there were a full iPhone 5, while 28 percent would opt for a more modest iPhone 4 update. Even on Android, where loyalty is much higher, 27 percent would reportedly pick the iPhone 5 and 11 percent an iPhone 4 refresh.
Among existing iPhone owners, 51 percent would jump to a complete remake, while the same 11 percent as Android would look at a conservative version.
Without the sample size, it's not clear how accurate the study would be. Low survey numbers tend to more heavily distort the results, most of all if the respondents were self-selecting. Also unknown are how many would opt for other platforms, although Android is presumably the next closest.
The study in spite of its reach still suggests pent-up demand for the iPhone 5, which should be unveiled October 4 at Apple's on-campus event. It may also reveal the effect of having the iPhone on more than one US carrier, since Verizon subscribers can now prepare for launches and may soon be joined by Sprint. Android's long term appeal is being tested as well as many of those who bought in the first real rush of sales, when the Motorola Droid shipped in late 2009, are just coming out of their contracts.