iPhone 3x and 4x users pondering a switch to Android handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S III represent a minuscule minority among iPhone owners according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster’s annual smartphone purchasing survey in a note to clients issued last Tuesday. The survey was conducted by querying 400 people in Minnesota, New York, and California, and in China and Korea.
It also seems that demand for a larger-screened iPhone is subdued at best. When survey respondents were shown to-scale drawings of the current iPhone with its 3.5-inch display and Motorola’s Droid Razr Maxx, which has a 4.3-inch display, 56 percent of respondents preferred the smaller display regardless of which phone they currently own — iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry.
The Register’s Rik Myslewski suggests that while Apple is widely expected to include a larger display as one of the feature upgrades on its upcoming iPhone 5 (or wherever it ends up being called), how well that product performs in the marketplace will likely not be determined by the small-versus-large display question. I’m inclined to agree. For practical reasons, smaller smartphone panels like the iPhone’s current Retina displays have their advantages.
Among survey respondents, just 19 percent said they’re planning to purchase an Android phone, a vestigial 2.5 percent of hardcore Blackberry loyalists affirming that their next phone will be from RIM, and 65 percent planning to buy an iPhone. with 51 percent saying they’re waiting for the iPhone 5. Ninety-four point two percent of present iPhone owners say they’re planning to on replacing it with another iPhone. Even 33% of current Android users plan switching to the iPhone, as do 38 percent of current Blackberry users Gene Munster figures Apple has about 80 million iPhone 5 sales (that would be nearly half of an estimated 170 million sales worldwide) “in the bag,” and will sell around 125 million iPhones overall (including 4S and other model sales) in the company’s 2012 fiscal year.
In other news, BGR’s Jonathan S. Geller says reports last week that the next-generation iPhone has entered its production phase are premature, according to a “trusted source.” Geller says that while it’s entirely possible that Apple is producing new iPhone engineering samples and commenced manufacturing device enclosures to identify and fix any problems with the manufacturing line before real production begins, the product is at the third of multiple multiple “engineering verification test” stages, which are to be followed by two “design verification test” phasees.
Geller also says he’s got confirmation current iPhone test mules have 1GB of RAM, double the iPhone 4S’s 512MB RAM capacity, 4G LTE and Near Field Communication (NFC) support, and he shares the dominant consensus that the new iPhone will be released at the end of September or early October.