Many press release relays, blogs, and other internet news outlets are reporting today on an Apple iPhone customer survey by Norwalk, CT market research firm, Markitecture. The numbers, at a glance, may be misleading. Most of these reports have spun the survey results to be negative in nature, when it reality they may be quite positive.
One of the biggest concerns on the minds of consumers and analysts alike is this high price point of the Apple iPhone (announced to be $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB model). Like most of Apple's products, there is little doubt regarding the quality or appeal of the upcoming iPhone. The question is, exactly how many people are going to be willing to cough up upwards of $500 to put and iPhone in their pocket?
According to the survey, as few as 6% of prospective customers currently state they expect to lay out the cash required to pick up Apple's latest and greatest. Markitecture surveyed 1300 individuals and found that despite more than 3/4 of those surveyed being familiar with the iPhone, and almost half of those being under a favorable impression about the device, only a small portion of these individuals expected to actually buy it.
Six percent in the mobile phone industry does not mean the same thing six percent means in the notebook computing, tax accounting software, or pineapple importing industry. As the survey itself points out, a 6% tally in the mobile phone industry is quite a healthy percentage.
Just this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer lashed out at the iPhone by suggesting that the iPhone would achieve no more than a 2% or 3% market share (read Ballmer's comments here). If the numbers out of Markitecture's survey holds true, the Apple iPhone would be considered a rousing success. Not only would they at least double Ballmer's prediction, but based roughly on the number of mobile phone units sold globally, Apple would exceed their own targets as well.