A new survey of 4,000 North American consumers finds that even after the iPhone 4S (s aapl) has been out for a couple of months, consumers still have a strong appetite for the Apple smartphone. It is the device of choice among those who say they will be buying a smartphone sometime within the next 90 days.
The survey from ChangeWave, which gathered results from Dec. 2011, found that 54 percent of those polled said they intended to get a smartphone from Apple, compared with just 13 percent for Samsung, Apple’s next closest competitor. The iPhone lost ground compared to the same survey taken in Sept. 2011, however, and Samsung gained a number of potential customers. In the earlier survey, which came prior to the iPhone 4S’ official unveiling, 65 percent said they wanted an Apple device while only 5 percent were after a Samsung phone.
Motorola (s mmi) also gained some potential customers, increasing from 5 percent in September to 7 percent in December. HTC and BlackBerry (s rimm) rounded out the top five, but each suffered a drop in demand. Apple’s demand suffered the biggest percentage point loss, but ChangeWave says its numbers are actually higher than usual following a major product release.
Typically, demand for an Apple device peaks just prior to a new device’s unveiling and tails off considerably once the shipping product hits the market. According to ChangeWave, the 11-point dip is actually much less striking than usual; in fact, the company notes that “Apple has never dominated smart phone planned buying to this extent more than two months after a major new release.”
Also, Apple’s customer satisfaction remains high in this survey, with 75 percent’s saying they are “very satisfied” with their devices. Samsung and HTC phones are in a distant second-place tie for satisfaction, each with 47 percent’s reporting being “very satisfied.” ChangeWave says customer satisfaction is a key factor in deciding which phone customers end up planning to buy during their next purchase.