New survey predicts strong iPhone sales out the gate

  • Rochester (NY) – Harris Interactive added itself to the line of iPhone sales forcasters, predicting that Apple’s upcoming cellphone-iPod will pick up lots of customers when it goes on sale in late June. However, there are challenges as high-powered, pricey phones such as the iPhone appeal to less than one third of cellphone buyers.

    If we believe Harris and the survey results concluded from 1116 U.S. adults, then iPhone could become a fantastic launch pad for Apple into the cellphone segment. Two months before the scheduled introduction, 47% of respondents were aware of the iPhone and 17% expressed interest in purchasing it.

     However, it appears to be rather unclear what the killer features of the iPhone really are. Harris found that the “hottest” feature of the iPhone is its storage capacity, which was highlighted by 37% of respondents. 36% referred to quad-band capability, while 31% especially like the user interface of the phone.

    Harris predicts a “nice pop” in sales for the iPhone when it surfaces on the market, but the firm also mentioned that 40% of survey respondents will wait with a purchase until the price of the iPhone will come down. 25% of people answering to the questions of the survey said they would switch when their carrier will offer the phone;  17% of potential customers are expected to switch before their existing contracts expires.

    Apple itself said in the past that it is targeting a 1% market share with its iPhone – or sales of about 10 million devices in the first 12 months. The fact that the iPhone is positioned in the $500+ market segment, however, means that Apple is aiming for a much higher market  share than 1%. Should Apple achieve its goal to ship 10 million iPhones in the first year, the company would end up with a 10% share in the segment of high-end multimedia phones.

    What is your take on the iPhone? Is it attractive enough to justify a cancellation of a service contract? Will you consider buying the iPhone?  Or will the iPhone turn out to be a short lived story and a product without a market?