Harris Interactive study shows Apple’s new iPhone has potential to shake industry to its core

Apple StoreThe iPhone is a revolutionary new product that has the potential to turn the technology world on its ear and with the anxiously awaited Apple product expected to be available this June, Harris Interactive recently took a quick pulse of American adults to determine how strong the buzz really is. Although iPhone is not yet a household word, 47 percent of respondents were aware of the product and a full 17 percent expressed interest in purchasing it, which makes for a pretty loud buzz from consumers for a product that isn’t yet available.

These are just some of the results of a new study conducted by the Harris Interactive Technology Practice, which were presented through the company’s latest webinar. Harris Interactive fields ongoing studies on a range of topical issues within the technology industry and presents the information quarterly. The studies are conducted online with consumers from a multimillion member panel created and maintained by Harris Interactive.

Perhaps a more interesting question to ask is when U.S. adults would buy this product. Of those expressing interest to purchase, nine percent say they would buy at product launch and another eight percent would buy before their current wireless service contract expired. About 17 percent say they would wait for their current wireless contract to expire before purchasing and 25 percent would purchase it – when their existing wireless carrier offers the iPhone. Finally, a full 40 percent of buyers intend to wait for the price to come down.

Survey results show the hottest iPhone feature was its large storage capacity (37%), begging the question — is this a better phone or a better iPod? This is followed by iPhone quad band worldwide capabilities (36%) and its easy to use/drop dead cool user interface (31%). Overall, high powered multi-functional mobile devices like the iPhone have strong appeal (or Apple-al) to about 31 percent of the marketplace. The remainder does not need, or care to pay for, all those bells and whistles and seek simpler solutions.

In June look for a nice pop in iPhone sales out of the gate and some additional subscribers lining up at AT&T/Cingular to switch their carrier and get their iPhone. Longer term, look for continued success for iPhone and continued churn among wireless service providers. Another announcement for a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) version of iPhone could really add gasoline to the fire, which leads to speculation about Apple’s pricing policy and the introduction of additional products to their lineup (iPhone nano anyone?).

Commenting on the survey results Joseph Porus, Vice President of Harris Interactive’s Technology Practice said, “Apple’s new iPhone has shaken the industry to its core. Look for strong sales and a new cult to develop around iPhone. Also expect increased orders for midnight oil as competitors scramble to play catch-up.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States between February 13 and 19, 2007, among 1,116 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

More info here.

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36 Comments

  1. Just curious, does anyone have a clue as to when the iPhone will be available in the UK?

    I have just renewed my contract with 02 for 12 months, I’ve got a k800i but want an iPhone when they are released.

  2. Palm is right. The mobile phone business is a tough business with a lot of growing pains. Just look at how long it took Palm to get where they are—and their products interoperate with Outlook and Microsoft Office.

    Apple has a lot to learn if they want to compete.

  3. Fingers, you moron, you have it backwards. The phone business has a lot to learn from APPLE if they want to compete. Apple is not playing catch up… they are leapfrogging and reinventing the market. Do you REALLY think that having Office on your phone is a killer app? Get real. I have a Palm and I used its office features maybe TWICE… never needed it on a daily basis and if I DIDN’T have that ability to use it those two times, I wouldn’t be all that frazzled. I am not about to compose a letter or create a spreadsheet on a mobile device… that’s what computers are for. Mobile devices are used for things that are inherently MOBILE… e.g. taking on the phone, quick IMs, maps, listening to music… you see… Apple GETS IT… the rest of the industry will have to learn.

    Time will tell dude. I expect iPhone to be even more of a success than anyone imagines. Expect EXTENDED inventory shortages!

  4. @ Another Irish Dude,

    Thanks for that, my contract will be up again in April so I can wait 4 months…

    Then again, if I’m a good boy Santa might get me one

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  5. The reason the phone industry is like it is is basically the same as why MS and the state of computing is what it is. Computers started out with high end, really expensive products (Apple, Motorola) and then got usurped by cheaper versions by other companies (MS, Ericsson, Nokia, Moto).

    The industries were new, they were growing into uncharted waters and people loved whatever they could get. Now, as the markets have matured, people want things to both work and reflect their personalities.

    “Good enough” is still good enough for many, but there’s a huge market now for people who are willing to buy stuff that’s better and somewhat more expensive.

    Apple will clean up with this phone. They will also drive the market. If it’s a runaway success, they are going to basically fuse the computer and cell markets on the high end, as well.

    I wish I hadn’t been forced to sell some of my stock last year. Good times are ahead.

  6. Horseman, you are ON it buddy! In addition to the curreny buzz, wait until more people actually get their hands on this thing! There will be losers hocking their grandmothers jewelry to get one. I’ve said it before, there will be domestic violence disputes over this device. Inevitably, Apple will be sued for making such a cool device.

  7. Yo, Fingers, et. al. … I have a Palm 700W – the window’s edition… This is absolutely the worst phone I’ve ever owned. Its very furstrating to use… you M$ is very menu-heavy… you have to step thru about 4 levels of menus to get any thing done on this phone… it REALLY sucks… the only reason I still have it is b/c I waiting on the iPhone to come out in 2 months… For the 1st time in my life, I’ll be one of those geeks waiting in line at Midnight for the APPLE/AT&T store to open!
    P.S. I had 650p -plam os version… its was excellent!

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