“Research In Motion and Apple continue their smart phone battle for the hearts and minds of consumers, according to the latest ChangeWave survey. The survey shows Apple enjoying another good quarter in the aftermath of its 3G iPhone release,” Paul Carton reports for ChangeWave.

“The ChangeWave survey of 3,803 cell phone owners takes a close look at smart phone market trends, including consumer reaction to RIM’s launch of the BlackBerry Storm and how it compares to the Apple iPhone. The December 9-15, 2008 survey was conducted just weeks after the Storm’s initial release,” Carton reports.

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, before the reviews sunk in and the returns began. See related articles below.

Carton continues, “While RIM (41%) is still the consumer market share leader, it has fallen 1-pt since our previous survey in September to its lowest percentage of the last 12 months. At the same time, Apple (23%; up 6-pts) has witnessed explosive growth – up 6-pts just since September. Importantly, its overall market share has more than doubled in the past six months – a direct result of the late-June release of the 3G iPhone.”

Carton reports, “Taken together, Apple and RIM now control two-thirds of the smart phone market, as smaller/weaker players such as Palm (9%) have proven unable to compete.”

“The current survey took a close-up look at the reaction of 61 owners of the new BlackBerry Storm, and compared the results to a similar survey in July 2007 of new owners of the original iPhone,” Carton reports.

“The overall satisfaction rating given by new owners of the Blackberry Storm can, at best, be characterized as lukewarm. One in three Storm owners (33%) said they were Very Satisfied with their new model, well below the 52% Very Satisfied rating given by all current owners of BlackBerry smart phones,” Carton reports. “Simply put, the Storm satisfaction rating is similar to that of mid-tier smart phone manufacturers like Nokia (32%), Motorola (32%), HTC (31%) and Samsung (30%). While far from bad, it’s mediocre – which means it’s a potential concern regarding RIM’s head-to-head battle with Apple.”

Carton reports, “For comparative purposes, here’s how the BlackBerry Storm’s favorability ratings stack up against those of the original iPhone (taken in a survey of new iPhone owners in July 2007, less than a month after its initial release).”

Carton reports, “As the chart shows, the original iPhone’s Very Satisfied rating (77%) was more than double that of the new BlackBerry Storm (33%). Importantly, the Storm’s Unsatisfied rating (14%) is three times higher than that of the original iPhone (5%).”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 8:28pm ET: Modified headline from “ChangeWave: Apple iPhone’s customer satisfaction more than double that of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm” to current headline in order to more clearly describe ChangeWave’s findings as per reader comments below.]

[Attribution: Fortune. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iSteve” for the heads up.]