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ChangeWave: Maps issue had 0% impact on iPhone 5 sales

October 12, 2012: 9:08 AM ET

Likely buyers were not dissuaded by either Apple's Maps app or the new dock connector

Source: 451 Research/ChangeWave Research

FORTUNE -- A new survey of 4,270 mostly North Americans conducted in September and released Friday found no evidence that the concerns about Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone that have preoccupied the tech press since its release have affected likely buyers.

To the contrary.

According to ChangeWave's polling, nearly one in three (32%) of the early adopter types in their survey network said they were likely to buy the iPhone 5 in the future. The percentage of those who said they were "very likely" (19%) was nearly double what it was for the iPhone 4S (10%), which until now had been, according to the report, "considered the most successful smart phone release in history."

"Despite the media attention surrounding both the Apple Maps issue and the Apple Lightning port issue, neither has had an impact on the massive numbers of buyers queuing up to buy the iPhone 5," said Paul Carton, ChangeWave's research director. "Rather, the survey results show both issues hardly rank as bumps in the road."

Some likely buyers did describe the new Maps app, which replaced Google's (GOOG) mapping data with Apple's, as "somewhat of a problem" (6%) or even a "very big problem" (3%). But when consumers who said they were unlikely to buy the new phone were asked why, 0% said it was because of Reported Problems With Apple Maps. The main reason for not buying it, cited by 61% of respondents, was No Need – Their Current Cell Phone is Sufficient.

Source: 451 Research/ChangeWave Research

To put the Maps issue in perspective, ChangWave compared the number of respondents who had a problem with Apple's mapping data with the number of iPhone 4 owners who said they were affected by the signal attenuation issues that came to be known as Antennagate. The results: 64% of new iPhone 4 owners said they hadn't experienced any problem with the antenna; 90% of new iPhone 5 owners said the same about the new Maps app. (See chart.)

To see a summary of the ChangeWave report, which also gauged at early interest in Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8, click here. To sign up for the full report, click here.

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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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