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OK, The iPhone Research Has Got To Stop!

Even I am getting sick of it. But it's my duty to report, so deal. The latest findings from the ChangeWave Alliance show that 9% of respondents are likely to buy an iPhone when it launches sometime next month. ChangeWave surveyed one of the largest samples yet, nearly 3,500 people. The most
Even I am getting sick of it. But it's my duty to report, so deal. The latest findings from the ChangeWave Alliance show that 9% of respondents are likely to buy an iPhone when it launches sometime next month. ChangeWave surveyed one of the largest samples yet, nearly 3,500 people. The most interesting result from the study reveals that the number of people preparing to change carriers in the coming months is increasing, likely because of the iPhone Effect. ChangeWave goes so far as to say, "Apple's iPhone rocks the cell phone industry."ChangeWave doesn't mince its words. In the article that details its findings, ChangeWave is obviously excited about the iPhone's potential:


7% say they are likely to buy the iPhone as a gift for someone else. These are big numbers, especially when you consider the worldwide market for cell phones is around 1 billion and Apple's goal is to get to 1% of that market in year one - which would mean selling about 10 million phones. The iPhone's overall integration of iPod, Phone, Camera and Email/Internet capability (28%) remains the top selling point among likely buyers. Clearly the current results, while similar to our January survey findings, provide strong evidence that Apple should exceed its iPhone sales goals for 2008 - providing the device lives up to consumer expectations.

Ah, look at that huge caveat, "providing the device lives up to consumer expectations." That's the rub, isn't it? Anything and everything has to live up to expectations, and this is where Apple has made a huge strategic mistake. It's given us too much time to wonder, speculate, complain, diss, research, and think about the iPhone.

Announcing it six months in advance has certainly helped spur massive interest and led to pent-up demand. At the same time, however, we've had so much time to contemplate how cool (or uncool) it is, that the bar has been raised impossibly high. How on earth can it live up to expectations at this point? If it's anything short of stupendously amazing, people will be disappointed.

But the device itself is not all that ChangeWave looked at:


Currently, Verizon (30%) holds the market share lead among our respondents while AT&T's Cingular (27%) -- which is Apple's exclusive service provider for the United States -- is in second. We note that third place Sprint/Nextel (12%) has fallen 1 point to a new low. But going forward we find a dramatic turn of events. Cingular (28%; up 6 points) has surged ahead of Verizon in terms of future planned buying among consumers, and is now the top choice among those likely to switch service providers. Verizon (22%; down 3 points) has continued to trend downward among this critically important group -- falling to second place for the first time since we began asking this question in a ChangeWave survey.

This data is more interesting. Whether or not people actually buy an iPhone, the trends ChangeWave is describing suggest that Cingular is going to see an increase in subscriberships in the near future, while Verizon will see a dip. ChangeWave isn't shy about saying that this is probably the result of the iPhone.

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer