Most Don’t Plan to Buy iPhone, but Lower-Priced 3G May Change Some Minds

June 20, 2008

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Though 41% of those who say they don’t intend to purchase an iPhone are deterred by its price, the lower-priced new iPhone 3G may change their minds; moreover, 42% of online consumers surveyed are already considering an iPhone purchase, finds a new study.

The Consumer Behavior Report from PriceGrabber.com, a part of Experian, explores iPhone purchasing trends and smartphone pricing history, based on a survey of 3,066 online consumers conducted May 20-June 5.

Just 4% of survey respondents reported owning an iPhone, with 42% considering purchasing one and 54% not intending to make a purchase. Of that 54%, some 41% say it costs too much and 22% say they prefer a network carrier other than AT&T.

Prior to Apple’s announcement that the new iPhone 3G will cost $199, Apple and Nokia, on average, had the highest-priced cell phones/devices, while Blackberry, Motorola and Samsung provided prices on the low end:

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With Apple’s recent announcement of the lower-priced iPhone 3G, online consumers may be changing their minds about not purchasing an iPhone, PriceGrabber said.

Apple gets corporate-friendly

As Apple attempts to appeal to enterprise users and IT departments with the iPhone 3G’s Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync capabilities, the company is becoming more of a competitor with long-standing corporate-friendly devices like Research In Motion’s Blackberry.

Of the 4% of respondents who own an iPhone, 40% own two devices – one device for work and the iPhone for personal use. More than half of those respondents plan to get rid of their second device because of the Apple’s new synching capabilities.

Phones with MP3 players: common but not a necessity

Of the top 20 most popular cell phones on PriceGrabber.com, 19 have MP3 player capabilities, although only 29% of those who own one actually use the feature on their phone.

Survey respondents (among the 46 percent of online consumers who either own or are considering purchasing an iPhone) also indicated that the MP3 player within the iPhone is one of their least-favorite features.

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The majority of online consumers say that the fingertip navigation feature is the best feature of the iPhone, while 17% chose the web browsing connection and 16% enjoy the integrated applications.

Hands-free driving laws increase Bluetooth and headset demands

Some 46% of consumers indicated that the second most important cell phone feature behind a large color display screen is Bluetooth compatibility.

With 22 US states enforcing cell phone driving laws, five states that have banned handsets completely and 17 others that have varied regulations, Bluetooth and hands-free headsets are becoming a required accessory with devices such as the iPhone.

Of the 62% of respondents who indicated that they currently use or plan to purchase a hands-free headset, 33% said they would because of driving laws and 28% said they would for their own personal safety, regardless of their state’s laws.

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