Apple 2.0

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ChangeWave: Interest in buying the 'iPhone 5' is off the charts

July 23, 2012: 6:01 AM ET

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S III is seeing another "huge surge of momentum"

Click to enlarge. Source: ChangeWave, a service of 451 Research

FORTUNE -- Two findings jump out of the latest ChangeWave Research survey of future smartphone buying plans.

When 4,042 American consumers were offered brief descriptions of the latest Samsung model and the features Apple (AAPL) is considered "likely to include" in its next generation "iPhone 5" (larger screen, improved camera, 4G/LTE capability, etc.) ...

  • 19% of those who said they were planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days said they were planning to buy a Samsung phone -- a 6 percentage point jump from March and the second major bump since September (see Samsung fever chart below), thanks largely to the 9% who said they were likely to buy the new Galaxy.
  • 50% said they were planning to buy an iPhone, down from an all-time high of 65% just before the release of the iPhone 4S, but a record for a 9-month-old phone. Moreover, when all consumers (not just smartphone buyers) were asked about the "iPhone 5" described in the survey, 14% said they were "very likely" and 17% "somewhat likely" to buy it -- a "unprecedented" measure of advanced demand, according to Carton, "strikingly higher than we've seen for any previous iPhone model."

To underscore his point, Carton offers a chart comparing the latest likely-to-buy responses  with those offered in October 2011 for the iPhone 4S, which was, according to him, "the most successful smart phone in history."

Carton concludes:

The huge wave of pent-up demand for the coming iPhone launch has important implications for the rest of the industry – and puts a number of second tier smart phone manufacturers at increased risk of coming in below plan for the year.

  • In contrast to Apple and Samsung, demand for Motorola (4%; down 2-pts) and HTC (3%; unchanged) remains sluggish, while RIM (2%; unchanged) is stuck at its all-time low.
  • In a positive finding for Nokia (2%), it's seeing a slight uptick in consumer smart phone buying. While it's only a 1-pt increase over March, it remains a hopeful sign for their new Lumia device as well as their strategic partnership with Microsoft.

To get the full survey you have to be a ChangeWave member. See here.

Below the fold: The Samsung fever chart.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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