Survey: Consumers see iPhones and Android Phones as Equals

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The good news for Apple is that iPhone 4 antenna problem hasn’t damaged the iPhone brand with consumers, but the bad news is that consumers are nearly as satisfied with Android phones.

According to market research firm ChangeWave, the iPhone continues to lead the competition with the highest number of “very satisfied” consumers at 74 percent. A satisfaction level above 70 percent has been consistent with the iPhone brand from model to model, meaning the iPhone 4 antenna problem really was the “non-issue” that Steve Jobs originally described it as for most consumers.

As for the competition, Android continues to maintain high satisfaction, in the 60 percent range. Considering the diverse number of handsets, that’s quite impressive, especially when compared to other competitors. HP, RIM, and Microsoft appear perpetually unable to achieve high levels of satisfaction with consumers. It will be interesting to see if Windows Phone 7 can change that.

The information says likely not. Those considering buying a new smartphone within the next 90 days aren’t looking at Microsoft, which is expected to launch Windows Phone 7 devices next month. However, it’s important to note that ChangeWave survey respondents aren’t necessarily representative of a broad range of buyers. RIM sold a record 12.1 million BlackBerry OS phones last quarter, despite being considered by few in ChangeWave surveys.

Unfortunately, at least for Apple, the survey is indeed an accurate reflection of sales when it comes to Android. The number of consumers considering buying an Android phone has climbed from six percent a year ago to 37 percent now. Corresponding sales have borne out those considerations, with Android devices now outselling the iPhone, at least in the U.S. If Apple is to have any chance of competing with Android in market share, carrier exclusivity in the American market must end soon.

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