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Survey tallies iPhone interest, finds only 6% to buy

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2007
News Categories: iPhone

According to a recent survey taken by Markitecture, 77% of the 1300 people that responded knew about the iPhone, although only 6% said they were likely to purchase the phone in the next year. Cost was cited as the top reason for not purchasing the device, with carrier issues and/or contracts coming in a close second. Other stats tallied by the survey showed that out of the 77% familiar with the iPhone, 41% had a good impression, while out of those very familiar with the product, an overwhelming 83% had either an excellent or very good impression.

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Comments

1

I know everyone’s perception is based on their own circle of friends, but I guess my circle of influence must be more geeky than others.

I, for one, am buying an iPhone as soon as they come out as are a couple of my other friends whose contracts are up in a month or two or already are up.

I’ve held off getting another phone since I heard the announcement at MacWorld.  I was about to get a Blackberry Pearl, but glad I didn’t.  I had a Blackberry 7100 before and just tolerated the limited Mac interaction (even with third party Mac software).  Can’t wait for the iPhone and full Mac integration.

Posted by B Jordan on May 1, 2007 at 1:17 PM (PDT)

2

No Death Star service for me, even if it’s SBC’s recycled version.

If I can come across an unlocked iPhone…perhaps I’d consider the device. But I suspect that those will be well nigh impossible to find, given Apple’s obsession with protectiveness of the status quo.

Posted by flatline response on May 1, 2007 at 2:00 PM (PDT)

3

My Cingular Razr contract expired last month so the timing is perfect. I plan to order an iPhone from the Apple store as soon as it goes on sale.

Posted by technolawyer on May 1, 2007 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

4

$500 and MANDATORY AT&T service?No thanks.Its looking like a bad deal already and we STILL don’t know what the monthly charge is for the device.

Posted by ArcticW on May 1, 2007 at 2:47 PM (PDT)

5

I can’t help but agree with the Microsoft sentiment the other day that, while definitely cool, the iPhone isn’t the practical device that most people who spend $600 on a phone want.  I need a phone that allows me to use third party software. I think that many people are INTERESTED in the iPhone, but I doubt that people flock to buy it in the numbers that Apple is hoping.  Honestly, a Motorola Q (or any other smart phone) with a 2gb microSD can do most everything the iPhone can do except at a fraction of the cost.

Posted by John on May 1, 2007 at 2:55 PM (PDT)

6

The spin of the article is puzzling. If 6% of Americans went out and bought an iPhone in the next year, that would be more than 15 million iPhones sold in the first year.

That is not an “only 6% will likely purchase” number, that’s a “the iPhone will be a HUGE freaking success well beyond anyone’s expection (that, or our survey is actually quite meaningless)” number.

I’m not sure what the total U.S. sales are currently, but 15 million would have represented about half of all cell phones sold in the U.S. two years ago, and the market can’t have increased all that much.

Here’s an analyst group that can not only generate a probably B.S. number, but doesn’t even know how to spin it correctly.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on May 1, 2007 at 4:24 PM (PDT)

7

I’m interested in the technology, but I simply do not do mobile phone contracts. Period. Make a prepay version, or one that lets me pick my provider, and I’m there. Otherwise, the iPhone is out of reach for me, and doesn’t conquer my hatred for contracts.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on May 1, 2007 at 4:50 PM (PDT)

8

I agree with this article that cost is my top reason for not wanting to purchase the iPhone. Chances are however that I will be one of the early birds to flock to the store as soon as it comes out, meanwhile biting my lip and shaking my head at myself for being a sucker to pay such a hefty price. The anticipation has been too long, however, and I have held off for 2 years on getting a new phone in hopes that Apple would indeed release this product. Now that it is here I can’t help but imagine how I will explain to my kids 20 years from now, that when Apple first introduced the “revolutionary iPhone” I was one of those people that “had to have it” and that I went out and spent $500 for it. Hopefully based on more survey results Apple will reconsider it’s price points and offer the two prices it has announced as stand alone prices, and offer a reduced price on the device for committing to a 2 year phone contract. Then perhaps I wouldn’t feel so uneasy about my decision to purchase it.

Posted by theDreFactor in Orange County, CA on May 1, 2007 at 6:22 PM (PDT)

9

OK so you guys are complaining about the price, but in Australia, phones are thousands of dollars and they arent even smart phones! The phone is payed off as part of the contract. We have to lock into 2 year contracts, thats usually what happens. So $500 even is its $500 US is really cheap.

I would get one straight away, if they ever get released down here. The only think I don’t like is not being able to choose your provider. That is a big negative draw back for me.

I am also sure that the price will drop and the iPhone will only get better and better over the months that its sold. Like the iPod, I’m sure there will be new versions out ever few months making it better, smaller and probably cheaper.

So in conclusion, gimme gimme gimme!

Posted by Me on May 1, 2007 at 11:42 PM (PDT)

10

Code Monkey, well said.

And can someone explain to me how a cheaper phone can do all that the iPhone does when manufacturers of those same cheaper phones also make phones at the price of the iPhone?

Posted by Pikemann_Urge on May 2, 2007 at 1:10 AM (PDT)

11

Because it’s an Apple product. You pay the Apple Premium. Which usually ends up in your favor, because Apple products are of a much higher quality than the cheaper phones you reference.

Posted by Multimoog on May 2, 2007 at 2:13 AM (PDT)

12

Didn’t Steve say they were aiming for 1% share in the first year? Surely 6% would be a massive success…

Posted by Phil B on May 2, 2007 at 4:05 AM (PDT)

13

Ditto Code Monkey.  6% is a great number.  I think Apple is shooting for 10 million, the extra 5 million is gravy, and that’s just the US.

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on May 2, 2007 at 6:21 AM (PDT)

14

6%? Craps man… That’s worth it’s weight in gold. Several times over.

And for those who say that it’s too expensive and that it doesn’t have enough features to justify it’s cost and that it won’t allow 3rd party installations ect. WAIT. They will either allow you to do so, although with certain apps, (which makes sense, as the majority of the stuff made out there is crap), they could let you install anything made for it, which would make users have to choose the correct apps to not make it slow down(which, in most cases, they won’t) or they could not let anyone install anything on it. But this is running OS X. And people will hack the program until they can make it do anything they please.

My 2c =)

Posted by Kizor on May 2, 2007 at 6:55 AM (PDT)

15

The whole “this phone is too expensive” thing has always cracked me up. My TMobile MDA, which is a complete piece of junk that rarely works, has no aesthetic value, is the size of a 1st generation iPod, etc. cost me $500 since I had to buy it in the middle of my contract. I personally can’t WAIT for the iPhone to come out so I can frisbie this MDA into a brick wall and cancel by contract with TMobile. Cingular sucks, yes… but TMobile is worse.

Posted by thelottery on May 2, 2007 at 7:31 AM (PDT)

16

I encourage everyone interested in the iPhone survey conducted by Markitecture to download the full White Paper.  The purchase trial methodology is discussed (1,300 people were surveyed, nationally representative sample), along with reasons for and against purchase.  We also qualify several other factors not covered by the survey that could impact iPhone sales.

http://www.markitecture.com/innovation_insights/iphone.html

Posted by Markitecture on May 2, 2007 at 10:05 AM (PDT)

17

Code Monkey, give these guys some credit. It is iLoung, NOT the analysts that used the phrase “only 6%”. In fact, if oyu read the whole articel, they say

“While 6% may appear low for a high-profile product launch, it actually may be very strong for the cell phone market. The highly successful Motorola RAZR after its launch in 2004 achieved a 6% market share at its peak.”

Posted by Munkey on May 2, 2007 at 12:17 PM (PDT)

18

comparison to the razr seems to be a bit of a stretch.  it was a $499 list price, but also had discounts for 1 and 2 year contract agreements.  i think the comparison in the markitecture survey is flawed for that reason.  the consumer in the $500-600 cell phone market is different than the consumer at $150-200.  additionally, the razr is available from basically every carrier and reached 6% at its peak.  to think that a single phone on a single carrier at now 5x the price of the current leading phone can somehow supplant the razr is absurd.

additionally, i think the 6% is a bit of a false number.  1300 people were surveyed.  if they knew nothing about the iphone they were eliminated from the remainder of the survey…  this act alone eliminated 23% of those surveyed.  out of the remaining 1000 people 6% of those were likely to buy an iphone according to a calculation that is not explained at all.  where did this 6% number come from?  the white paper states that it is their estimate, but does not indicate how it was derived.  taking the 6% of the 1000 actually given the entire survey only equates to about 4% of the total number initially surveyed.  regardless, there is no explanation for the arrival at 6%.  i find it hard to believe that apple when it estimated 1% wasn’t more closely tied to the reality of the iphone’s potential.

Posted by John on May 2, 2007 at 12:53 PM (PDT)

19

For me its never been the price, it alwasy been the carrier. I have only one thing against Cingular/AT&T o, whatever they are called these days.

Do just don’t have a large enough network and I refuse to move 20 miles to get what I can get from Verizon except an iPhone of course.

I guess I could buy the phone and pretend it works as a phone.

Posted by GaryZero on May 2, 2007 at 6:47 PM (PDT)

20

Code Monkey,
According to the full article the survey does not represent all Americans. It would be meaningless if it did. The survey is a representative sample of 1300 people who both own cell phones and are responsible for payments. That eliminates millions of Americans. You were right when you quoted the article as saying only 6%, but the article goes on to say that 6% is not that bad considering the Moto Razr got 6% at its peak. Ilounge only summarizes many of its news stories. The source link that Ilounge provides can often make things much clearer.

Posted by Brownie on May 3, 2007 at 6:21 AM (PDT)

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