U.K. survey finds consumers underwhelmed by iPhone 4S


The iPhone 4S debuted to amazing early success, but a new survey finds that a lot of consumers still aren’t very excited by Apple’s latest smartphone update. U.K. site MyVoucherCodes (via The Daily Mail) polled more than 1,500 smartphone shoppers in the weeks following the iPhone’s launch, and found that a third of those surveyed were “disappointed” with the 4S. Of those questioned, only 29 percent said they’d be interested in buying one.

Actually, having nearly a third of respondents claim interest in purchasing a product doesn’t sound all that bad — until you consider that of those not looking at an iPhone, 48 percent said they were thinking of a BlackBerry for their next device, and 37 percent were considering an Android device. Note that there is some overlap as some consumers vacillated between more than one platform for their next smartphone purchase.

Of those who weren’t impressed with the 4S, the survey found that 64 percent had hoped for more features. Still, Siri and the new camera ranked highly with respondents. Only a much smaller 27 percent of those who said they were disappointed with the device hoped for a complete overhaul, in the form of an “iPhone 5″ device with a new look and big changes, so it actually seems like a few more 4S-exclusive features would have sold more buyers. Some features, however, like Bluetooth 4.0 (or Bluetooth Smart as it’s being branded), and AirPlay Mirroring have yet to make their presence felt, since there are few accessories or software so far that really take advantage of them.

The iPhone 4S still broke records during its launch, selling 4 million handsets in its first three days of availability, and AT&T in the U.S. at least has revealed it has been a strong seller in the time since, as well. There’s little doubt that Apple could have made more of a splash with a complete redesign, but such a move doesn’t seem to have been necessary or advisable from a business standpoint, if initial sales are any indication.

The results of this survey might better reflect the negative effect Apple’s hype machine can sometimes have on a product launch: Reports and rumors swirl at such a frenzied pace that expectations grow out of control. Now that the most tantalizing bits of Apple news make it to mainstream media channels, those inflated rumors could be having more of an effect on general public perception of the company’s upcoming products.

So far, we have the actual sales data to counter claims that the 4S isn’t impressing shoppers, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the long-term sales to see if negative impressions have more of an effect once the pale is off the rose.


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