Apple hasn't even announced the iPhone 5S yet, but a new report suggests that U.S. consumers already aren't interested in it. The survey was conducted by BiTE interactive, which interviewed 1,087 Americans between Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 of this year. 65 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. aren't interested in the iPhone 5S, and 59 percent of U.S. consumers who already own a smartphone don't plan on upgrading to the iPhone 5S.
The report didn't say why. Perhaps a large percentage of those customers are already locked into two-year contracts. It did say, however,t hat 68 percent of those who aren't looking at the iPhone 5S also aren't interested in the entry-level and likely cheaper iPhone 5C. That's not too surprising, and all signs suggest that Apple actually designed the lower-end model for emerging markets where it needs to boost its share, such as China.
As you can imagine, 76 percent of Android owners said they "probably or definitely would not buy" the iPhone 5S, while 32 percent of iPhone owners said the same. "The S-models generally tend to be a minor model improvement which understandably generates less consumer excitement," executive vice president of operations for BiTE Joseph Farrell said. " However, we at BiTE think consumers will be excited in the coming months when they see the vast mobile commerce opportunities enabled by features such as the fingerprint scanner."
So, while consumers might not immediately flock to the iPhone 5S (and that's only according to this single survey), they might warm up once they see all of the features of iOS 7 and what the fingerprint scanner can offer. We'll see – several other reports suggest this launch could be one of Apple's biggest.
Nearly Two Out of Three American Smartphone Owners Do Not Plan to Purchase the New iPhone
Almost 70 Percent of Those Not Planning to Purchase Say a Less Expensive Price Would Have No Effect on Their Decision
LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 – Ahead of Apple's highly-anticipated next iPhone announcement on September 10, new research reveals nearly two in three Americans (65 percent of all Americans, 59 percent of all current smartphone-owning Americans) would definitely or probably not purchase the new iPhone 5S expected to be revealed on Tuesday. Further, only three percent of all Americans (5 percent of all current smartphone-owning Americans) said they would buy as soon as it is launched. The findings were released today in the "2013 iPhone Anticipation Report" from BiTE interactive, the mobile application specialist for Fortune 1000 brands, which commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,087 American adults online between September 3-4. The data also showed that a less expensive model would not significantly alter the purchase decision – 68 percent of those who are not planning on purchasing the new iPhone said that a less expensive version would have no effect on their decision.
Additional key findings uncovered a number of interesting differences and a high degree of brand loyalty among Android and iPhone users. The data includes:
- · Android owners were more than twice as likely as iPhone owners to say they probably or definitely would not buy the new iPhone (76 to 32 percent, respectively).
- · Current iPhone owners were five times more likely than Android owners to say they would buy the new iPhone immediately or wait until they were eligible to upgrade (41 to 8 percent, respectively).
"We expected initial consumer enthusiasm over the iPhone 5S to be low," said Joseph Farrell, EVP Operations, BiTE interactive, whose firm commissioned the research to gain a better understanding of the market demands for the new phone and the new operating system. "The S-models generally tend to be a minor model improvement which understandably generates less consumer excitement. However, we at BiTE think consumers will be excited in the coming months when they see the vast mobile commerce opportunities enabled by features such as the fingerprint scanner. This feature heralds the real beginning of mobile as a mass market transnational device."
Most wanted new iPhone features
The research also asked current non-iPhone owners which features would make them most likely to switch from their current device to the new iPhone. Twenty percent of all respondents indicated that better hardware would make them switch (30 percent for Android owners, specifically) and 19 percent would switch if battery life were significantly longer (similarly, 30 percent for Android.)
"While the data into features gives us a great deal of insight into what non-iPhone users care about when they think of switching, it's also important to note the strong (41 percent) amount of current iPhone owners that are planning on upgrading to the new model," added Brant DeBow, EVP of Technology, BiTE interactive. "Part of iOS' continued growth has been turning new customers into repeat customers. It's a great sign for Apple that a good amount of their existing base is interested in the new phone before the specifics are even announced."
Farrell added, "Overall, the data underscores that if Apple's goal with the release of a lower-cost iPhone were to increase U.S market share, the iPhone 5C would be a serious concern. With U.S. carriers subsidizing mobile phone purchases with multiyear contracts, the U.S. consumer is understandably far less interested in a lower cost iPhone. But that's not Apple's objective," said Farrell. "Offering a lower priced iPhone to customers represents a powerful move to capture international markets especially in Europe, China and India where carrier phone subsidies are banned or non-existent. With U.S. smartphone penetration approaching 65 percent, a potential iPhone 5C opens vast territories for Apple to effectively continue the iPhone's and iOS' expansion."
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