Apple Maps Issue Irrelevant As Massive iPhone 5 Buying Continues
A new survey from ChangeWave Research shows the iPhone 5 has sparked an unprecedented wave of buying with consumers gobbling up the latest Apple smart phone at record rates.
"Despite the media attention surrounding both the Apple Maps issue and the Apple Lightning port issue, neither has had an impact on the massive numbers of buyers queuing up to buy the iPhone 5," said Dr. Paul Carton, ChangeWave's VP of Research. "Rather, the survey results show both issues hardly rank as bumps in the road."
The September survey of 4,270 primarily North American consumers also shows the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8 has the potential to make serious inroads in the smart phone industry - with Samsung the manufacturer best positioned to benefit by a wide margin.
iPhone 5: Consumer Demand Trends
To gauge overall demand for the latest Apple smart phone model we asked consumers how likely they were to buy one in the future. The survey results show an unprecedented degree of consumer interest, with one-in-three consumers (32%) saying they're Likely to buy the iPhone 5 in the future (19% Very Likely; 13% Somewhat Likely).
Apple Lightning Port and Apple Maps Issues
Media attention surrounding the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 launches has, among other things, focused on two issues that have been seen as disappointing some consumers:
The additional cost to consumers caused by Apple's move to a new Lightning port for iPhone 5 charging and data connections
Problems associated with the new Apple Maps application
The ChangeWave survey took a close-up look at consumer reaction to each issue:
Apple Lightning Port. Apple's decision to use the new Lightning port for iPhone 5 charging and data connection purposes rendered previous iPhone chargers incompatible with the new device - resulting in additional costs to buyers. We asked consumers Likely to buy the new iPhone 5 how much of a problem the Apple Lightning port issue is for them.
The majority of likely buyers characterized it as Not Much of a Problem (31%) or No Problem At All (26%), although 6% did say it's a Very Big Problem and 31% Somewhat of a Problem.
Perhaps most importantly, when we asked consumers who said they are Unlikely to buy the iPhone 5 to tell us the reason why, 0% cited the Lightning adapter.
Apple Maps. Apple's new iOS 6 operating system - which comes pre-installed on the iPhone 5 and can be downloaded for earlier models - includes a new Apple Maps application that replaced the Google Maps app in previous iOS versions. However soon after iOS 6 was released and the iPhone 5 went on sale, media reports began circulating about user dissatisfaction with Apple Maps. Reported problems include inaccurate location searches, distorted satellite imagery, and missing points of interest in major cities.
To gauge the impact of the Apple Maps issue, we asked iPhone 5 and other iOS 6 users if they had experienced a problem with Apple Maps.
Nine-in-ten users (90%) reported it was No Problem at All or they Haven't Experienced Any Problem, while 3% characterized it as a Very Big Problem and 6% said it was Somewhat of a Problem.
Another major finding in the ChangeWave survey is the upcoming potential impact of Windows Phone 8.
Windows Phone 8: Intent to Purchase
Microsoft is expected to debut their new Windows 8 operating system during October and several smart phone manufacturers - including Samsung, Nokia and HTC - are expected to release new Windows 8 smart phones shortly thereafter.
To get an early gauge on the upcoming demand for the new mobile OS we asked consumers how likely they would be to buy a Windows 8 smart phone. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) said they are likely to buy it in the future (2% Very Likely; 7% Somewhat Likely). "Considering marketing has yet to begin, these findings show Windows Phone 8 will likely have a substantial impact on the smart phone industry," said Dr. Carton.
The ChangeWave survey found that Integration with Windows Apps/Devices (36%) ranks as the top reason why consumers plan on buying a Windows 8 smart phone.
While nearly half of all planned Windows 8 smart phone buyers (45%) do not yet know which manufacturer they're going to buy it from - that's not too surprising considering the devices have yet to be released.
But among the 55% who do know where they're likely to buy from, Samsung (51%) is by far the manufacturer best positioned to gain from the upcoming Windows Phone 8 release.
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