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56% Smartphone Buyers Want iPhone 3G

Consumers are drawn to the price point, 3G capabilities, and the integrated GPS, a study from RBC Capital said.

The majority of customers looking to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days have set their sights on the iPhone 3G, according to data released this week from RBC Capital Markets.

Shortly after Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the next-generation iPhone, RBC surveyed about 3,600 members of its Technology Adoption Panel and 56% said they wanted Apple's new handset. The firm conducted a similar survey in March before Apple announced features and pricing, and just 35% said they anticipated buying the new iPhone.

This is a sign that there's "unprecedented pent-up demand" for the iPhone 3G, according to research notes from RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. The jump in interest is the highest in the firm's internal panel since 2003, he said.

Research In Motion was in a distant second, with 23% of respondents saying they're planning to buy a BlackBerry in the next three months. RIM's BlackBerry Bold was expected to be a major competitor with the iPhone 3G this summer, but battery issues have delayed the release until at least August.

Just 3% said they would purchase a Palm device, while 2% were interested in purchasing an HTC, Nokia, or Samsung smartphone, respectively. Only 1% said they wanted a Motorola smartphone, and 9% opted for "other."

Apple's price point was very appealing to respondents, as 67% cited it as the top reason for buying the smartphone. The iPhone 3G will be debut July 11 at $199 and $299, a dramatic decrease from the original's pricing.

The faster 3G access garnered interest from 63% of those surveyed, and the integrated GPS was appealing to 47%. Enterprise e-mail was a strong selling feature for 35%, while 20% were interested in third-party applications.

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