“According to ChangeWave’s latest consumer cell phone survey, completed Oct. 2, 2007, the Apple iPhone has continued to enjoy solid growth while racing to a huge lead in terms of customer satisfaction,” Jim Woods and Paul Carton report for ChangeWave.

“The survey of 3,654 Alliance consumers looked at key market share changes among the major cell phone manufacturers and service providers – and found that while the iPhone’s been on the shelf just three months its impact is already being felt industry-wide,” Woods and Carton report.

“Apple’s current cell phone market share among respondents rose to 2% in this survey, double our last cell phone survey in July – solid growth that’s in line with previous expectations,” Woods and Carton report.

“But the most striking finding of the survey is the iPhone’s outstanding customer satisfaction rating. An unprecedented 82% of iPhone owners report being Very Satisfied with their purchase, up 5-points since our previous survey in July and by far the highest rating of any cellular manufacturer,” Woods and Carton report. “The only other company with a satisfaction rating above 50% is Research-in-Motion (RIMM; 51%). At the other end of the spectrum, Motorola (33%) was next to last among cellular manufacturers in customer satisfaction, with Sony/Ericsson (31%) at rock bottom.”

“But it’s when we asked respondents about their planned future cell phone purchases that the iPhone marketplace transformation becomes fully apparent,” Woods and Carton report. “Going forward, we find an astonishing 16% of respondents who plan to purchase a cell phone in the next six months saying they’ll buy an iPhone – placing Apple up at the top among all manufacturers.”

“‘There’s no longer any doubt about the staying power of the iPhone,’ says Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, who adds, ‘The continuing embrace of the iPhone by the public is a stellar example of how a new product can forever alters its own playing field,'” Woods and Carton report.

More in the full article here.