Survey: Consumers Want iPhone 5, Sight Unseen

Apple’s iPhone 5 is seeing heavy demand from consumers, even though they know nothing about it

Apple’s iPhone 5 is rumoured to be hitting the market this autumn, and the anticipation of what new perks Apple’s next-generation smartphone might offer users continues to percolate.

So frenetic is the fever pitch that 35 percent of nearly 3,000 US consumers surveyed online said they would buy the iPhone 5 upon its release later this year, according to Experian’s PriceGrabber shopping website.

Sight unseen

That means more than one-third of 2,852 people who filled out an online survey from 1 July through 11 July said they would buy the phone without ever having tried it. Fifty-one percent of respondents said that they will buy the smartphone within the first year of release.

Some 30 percent will purchase the device before the end of 2011, while 14 percent will buy it within the first month. Only 7 percent of those polled said they will buy it within the first week, a number that may change as they see friends, family and colleagues with the shiny new iPhones this fall.

It should be noted that those surveyed were clearly enamoured of Apple products.

PriceGrabber said that 48 percent of people polled said they preferred Apple’s iOS platform, compared to 19 percent who picked Google’s Android OS; 7 percent who chose Microsoft Windows; and 6 percent Research in Motion’s Blackberry.

Moreover, 69 percent of consumers indicated that they would prefer Apple’s iPhone 5 as a gift.

That compares to only 7 percent who claimed that they wanted Motorola’s forthcoming Droid Bionic, and only 4 percent opting to receive the Samsung Galaxy S II, perhaps the most heralded and anticipated Android smartphone that has yet to launch in the US.

Brand strength

The pledged purchasing faith in the iPhone 5 and clear iOS preference is a testimony to the power of Apple’s strong product brand, as well as the well-worn faith that Apple-focused and gadget blogs are correct in their early scoops.

For example, it is believed the iPhone 5 will include Apple’s new iOS 5 operating system paired with a faster processor and an 8 megapixel camera. A new, teardrop-shaped design may be featured as well.

Consumers are apparently looking for the little things in the new iPhone 5; some 59 percent of PriceGrabber respondents cited better battery life, with 55 percent ooking for a less expensive iPhone.

Some 46 percent said that 4G network compatibility was important to them, while 45 percent are hoping for a larger screen. About 42 percent would like an improved camera, something they will likely see.

4G and a larger screen, however, haven’t been rumoured to be part of the new phone.