3G iPhone sure to ring up more sales, says market researcher

One in four potential iPhone buyers waiting for 3G model

Nearly one-in-four potential iPhone buyers said that they have been putting off their purchase until Apple rolls out a next-generation model that supports the faster 3G data network, a market researcher said today.

According to Paul Carton, the research director at ChangeWave Research, a quarter of the people polled in March who plan to buy an iPhone said that they were postponing the buy until Apple releases a new model (14 percent) or were waiting for 3G compatibility (11 percent).

"That's really the same thing," noted Carton.

Most analysts have agreed for months, predicting that the next version of the iPhone will sport support for 3G, a faster data standard than the current EDGE-based technology used by the smart phone since its late-June 2007 launch.

"Assuming Apple's next iPhone is 3G-compatible, it's good news for Apple," Carton said. "That is the key issue faced by Apple, according to our survey."

ChangeWave's poll, which was conducted March 17-24 and queried nearly 3,600 U.S. consumers, also revealed that the number one complaint of current users was linked to the anticipated 3G iPhone. "There isn't any doubt among iPhone owners about their biggest dislike," said Carton. "It's the speed of AT&T's EDGE network."

Of iPhone owners, 21 percent picked the EDGE network speed as their top grievance; coming in second with 17 percent was the requirement to use AT&T.

Addressing those concerns by moving to 3G will also help Apple, said Carton. "There are several core issues users want to have resolved," he said. "3G capability is number one, even more than third-party software availability."

On the third-party software front, Apple is also expected to unveil its iPhone 2.0 upgrade next month, which will include the "App Store," an iTunes-esque download site for both free and for-a-fee iPhone software from independent developers.

Other than 3G support, the most popular reason consumers who eyeing an iPhone gave for delaying the purchase was its high price. Apple, which has run out of both 8GB and 16Gb models in the US, was selling them for US$399 and $499, respectively.

"Our polls have found that as soon as Apple was willing to drop the price, there would be a huge leap in demand," said Carton, who cited the August 2007 $200 price cut for significant movement in the percentage of people who said that they were waiting for the cost to come down.

In July 2007, the month after the iPhone was introduced, 28 percent gave that as their reason for not plunking down a credit card; by October, the number had dropped to 21 percent. In March, 24 percent selected "waiting for cost to go down" as their reason for not buying an iPhone.

"I don't think that has anything to do with the iPhone, but is all to do with the worsening economy," said Carton. "People are much more price conscious now than they were several months ago."

Speculation has also circulated that the iPhone's price will drop this summer when AT&T starts subsidizing the device to the tune of US$200. Although the effective price cut has not been confirmed, one analyst thought it likely.

"AT&T may well be saying, 'Hey, it's worth it for us to pay Apple the full price for the iPhone, plus give a piece of change to the consumer," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, when the rumors were first reported last month.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?