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ChangeWave: Galaxy S4 to spark a record Samsung surge

April 28, 2013: 6:53 AM ET

"Explosive" interest in buying Samsung smartphones approaches iPhone levels in U.S.

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FORTUNE -- As the Galaxy S4 rolls out in the U.S. this week, Samsung is likely to experience its fourth and biggest wave yet of smartphone buying, according to a proprietary ChangeWave poll of early-adopter types conducted between March 21 and April 2.

The results from the survey of 4,011 ChangeWave members, which we obtained Saturday, were released to subscribers two weeks ago. Of the 566 (14%) respondents who plan to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 153 (27%) said they expected to get one of Samsung's. Of those buyers, 81 (53%) planned to get the new Samsung S4.

Although interest in Apple's (AAPL) iPhone continues to "settle back," according to ChangeWave, from its peak after the September launch of the iPhone 5, Apple still leads all smartphone manufacturers in terms of North American demand. More than 225 (40%) of the respondents who planned to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days said they expected to get an iPhone (see chart below).

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 6.24.07 AM

Note that the survey was taken before Apple's April 23 conference call in which CEO Tim Cook suggested that there may not be any new Apple products before September. It's not clear whether those potential iPhone buyers were still anticipating a new model in July.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to lead the field in customer satisfaction, with 70% of iPhone owners reporting that they are "very satisfied" with their phones. Samsung came in second at 54%. See chart.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 6.34.19 AM

ChangeWave is a division of 451 Research.

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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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