iPhone a Success Story or Flop?

by Aaron Wright May 18, 2007

Depending on which stories you’ve read, there’s little over a month now until the iPhone is released in the U.S., and from what I’ve read there’s a series of mixed reactions.

Writing for http://www.iphonematters.com allows me to take a lot of interest and involvement in the iPhone’s continuing story and, as I’m sure many readers of the site will know, I’ve submitted post after post of “another survey suggests.” There’s been an absolutely ridiculous amount of polls and surveys concerning the iPhone since its announcement back in January, more than any other phone I imagine, which leads me to believe Apple will need to do very little advertising when launch day races closer in.

As you’d probably guess, there’s a mixed reaction among the mobile phone crowd worldwide, with many suggesting it’ll be a huge flop. But according to a few surveys there’s also a lot of good news to come for Apple.

Sore Pocket

Lacking 3G and not-so-great battery life aside, the money factor is one putting many people off. According to Seeking Alpha, a survey conducted by ChangeWave Alliance back in April suggests that only a small number of people surveyed, just 1%, would consider buying the 8GB iPhone with a $499 price tag, $100 less than it’s going on sale for—absolutely no one was interested in paying the full price for it. It’s only when the phone price comes down to a reasonable $399 for the 8GB and $299 for the 4GB models that consumers really sit up and take notice.



Another survey conducted suggests even worse is to come for Apple unless it can do something about the price. A whopping 94% of current cell phone users say they aren’t interested in buying the iPhone until the price comes down to something more affordable, according to Markitecture , who conducted their poll back in April as well. The results suggest that out of the 77% aware of the iPhone’s existence, 41% rated it as an excellent device, with another 21% claiming it to be rather poor. But regardless of how good people think the iPhone is going to be, only 6% showed any interest in buying the phone with the rest seriously put off by the high price tag.

Big, Sexy Beast

Believe it or not, the iPhone’s apparent “high storage capacity” is something that is attracting many consumers to the device, but I bet they aren’t aware that you can’t expand on that lovely 8GB of storage.

Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine conducted a survey and found some rather positive facts. First and foremost, 45% of Americans are aware of the iPhone’s existence, which is pretty good, and the large storage is all to thank for that. Apparently out of that 45%, 37% were attracted to the iPhone because of the monster 8GB storage capability, with 36% enticed by quad-band worldwide capabilities and a further 31% interested in the “cool” interface. One thing that does baffle me slightly with the percentages here is that they add up to 104%—so I’m still undecided on whether or not this survey is legit or if the surveyors simply miscalculated something. Either way it certainly makes for positive reading.

Some Kind of Monster

As you can imagine, writing about all these surveys on iPhone Matters does give me a serious headache, but in yet another one conducted by ChangeWave Alliance it seems that the iPhone will become a monster, at least according to Patrick Seitz of Investor’s Business Daily.

The poll suggests that 9% of 3,500 people surveyed would be buying the iPhone, with another 7% saying they would buy the phone for someone else as a gift. Mr. Seitz seems to believe that this is “huge” and the iPhone is “going to be a monster.” Somewhere among these facts it’s also been reported that 79% said they would consider dumping their existing wireless carrier to switch to AT&T to grab the iPhone.

iPod Therefore iPhone

Cellular News is reporting that a poll which ran back in April questioned 2,000 employed adults in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. and found that iPod owners were the most likely mobile phone users to upgrade to the iPhone when it’s released.

A large chunk of those surveyed (84%) will be heading to Nokia for their next phone upgrade with the rest broken up between Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Apple, and Motorola, etc. However, out of those surveyed with an iPod, almost half would more than likely buy the iPhone, where only 20% lacked interest. Could the iPod’s halo effect still be flying about?

My Own Spaceship and iPhone, Please

High schoolers have the most wild of imaginations and clearly don’t put money into the equation in the quest to own something, but even so, 25% of the 500 high school students surveyed in 11 different schools would buy the iPhone with its $500 price tag. Of course, as Greg Ng so rightly reports on iPhone Matters, when a teen forks out $600 for a Playstation 3 and $150 for a pair of Diesel jeans, $500 for a phone seems pretty sound.

Good news then?

It seems that most of the polls conducted were originally found on mobile phone oriented sites, with few found on Apple-only sites (which thus probably only report the good news). But I think it’s fair to say that things are looking pretty good for Apple provided the end product doesn’t let us down in some way—remember that these polls have been conducted long before the iPhone is to be released.

It’d be interesting to see what Apple Matters readers think of the iPhone and whether they would consider purchasing. If you’re put off though, tell us why.


  • I do agree, Ben that iPhone 1% goal does seem somewhat conservative - even for Apple who like to be conservative. I also think Steve thinks MS have the power to gain a lot more than 1% of the MP3 player market - and should have.

    Sorry for raving on all weekend. It musta been the rain. We haven’t seen proper rain here for nearly a year.

    Chris Howard had this to say on May 20, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • Well it seems to me that when microsoft has to sell Entirely on its own merits it does not get very far.

    You are absurdly applying the failure of one product to all MS products.  Certainly the Zune’s failure is not the Xbox’s failure or Office’s failure, both products that have stood as much on their own as any other.

    And now for some logic: there is absolutely no contradiction in terms with «agnostic zealot». If the zealotry consists in being agnostic, then there you have it.

    For you to invoke “logic” is laughable.  An agnostic zealot IS a contradiction in terms.  What you are backpeddling to describe would be a zealous agnostic.

    Yes, the order in which words occur carries meaning and changes it.  I can’t help it if you didn’t realize that, but now you do.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on May 21, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • he fact that this, the most desirable phone ever mass-made

    For someone who denies being a…well, y’know…you do an awfully good impression of one, Ben.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on May 21, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • No 3G, not so smart on Apple’s part.

    If the iPhone used a string running between tin cans, the Apple fanatics (eg. Ben Hall) would argue, “Who uses radio waves anyway?  Nobody, that’s who!”

    Beeblebrox had this to say on May 21, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • @Beeb Guess you are right there. I thought: IF fanatic about «something» you could then form. «XXX» zealot. Like Apple fan boy, Apple fanatic. But agnostic is not a noun, that is where I got wrong I think ? So it must read zealous agnostic. (Could it be a agnosticism zealot, but that doesn’t sound right ?)
    In regard to the first sentence, I admit it was slightly unfair, but funny. But then again, comparing market shares in computers should be considered unfair too. Microsoft had too many advantages from the start to hold on to that comparison any longer.
    My father is now 84 and my mom 80. They haven’t got a single apple product in their house, but when they had seen a demonstration on TV they asked me when it would be available. Now my mother understood the concept of text messaging, and dad saw you could actually read the text on the screen. How is that for a market survey ?

    WAWA had this to say on May 21, 2007 Posts: 89
  • Agnostic can be either a noun or an adjective.

    Are you saying the iPhone isn’t the most desirable phone ever mass-made? That statement is not about what I personally feel about the iPhone, it’s a statement about the general reaction to it. Perhaps I should have said “the most *desired* phone ever mass-made”. There’s nothing fan-boyish about saying this, it’s the truth.

    Of course, you had every opportunity to be aware of that, as I said in the very previous paragraph:
    “Now, whatever you may say about it, and ultimately these things come down partly to a matter of taste, the iPhone is extremely, exceptionally desirable as a product. It is the only product that millions of people have wished and hoped and clamoured for for a period of years before it was even announced.”

    All that is independent of what I may think of it.

    If the iPhone used a string running between tin cans, the Apple fanatics (eg. Ben Hall) would argue, “Who uses radio waves anyway?  Nobody, that’s who!”

    Since I’m not planning on getting the iPhone, this wise illustration of the ad hominem fallacy is rather mis-directed, wouldn’t you say?

    Benji had this to say on May 21, 2007 Posts: 927
  • Criminy people,

    1% != 1%  if the base numbers are 100 thousand and 100 million.  I’ll trade you for your 1% of a hundred million with my 1% of a hundred thousand.

    The cell phone market is HUGELY, MASSIVELY, GIGANTIC… Probably 100 times larger than the iPod market, probably even more.

    C’mon people, use those brains a little.

    1% of a ** 100 Billion ** dollar market is much different than 1% of a 1 Billion dollar market.

    vb_baysider had this to say on Jun 08, 2007 Posts: 243
  • As time proofed iphone is a just another Apple’s success story

    wyspa had this to say on Oct 29, 2007 Posts: 9
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