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Apple iPhone Buzz Reveals Marketing Savvy

The iPhone is a new device that has the potential to turn the mobile phone world on its ear, and with the Apple product expected to be available this June, Harris Interactive recently took a quick pulse of American adults to determine their awareness.

Although iPhone is not yet a household word, 47 percent of respondents were aware of the product and a full 17 percent expressed interest in purchasing it, which makes for a pretty loud buzz from consumers for a product that isn't yet available. I wonder, does any competitor doubt Apple's marketing savvy, or their compelling approach to product launches?

Perhaps a more interesting question to ask is when U.S. adults would buy this product. Of those expressing interest to purchase, nine percent say they would buy at product launch and another eight percent would buy before their current wireless service contract expired. About 17 percent say they would wait for their current wireless contract to expire before purchasing, and 25 percent would purchase it when their existing wireless carrier offers the iPhone. Finally, a full 40 percent of buyers intend to wait for the price to come down.

Survey results show the highest ranked iPhone feature was its large storage capacity (37 percent), begging the question -- is this a better phone or a better iPod? This is followed by iPhone quad-band worldwide capabilities (36 percent) and its easy-to-use user interface (31 percent). Overall, high powered multi-functional mobile devices like the iPhone have strong appeal to about 31 percent of the marketplace. The remainder does not need, or care to pay for, all those features and seeks simpler solutions.

Expect a jump in iPhone sales out of the gate, and some additional subscribers lining up at AT&T stores to switch their carrier and get their iPhone. Longer term, look for continued success for iPhone and continued churn among wireless service providers. Another announcement for a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) version of iPhone could really add momentum, which leads to speculation about Apple's pricing policy and the introduction of additional products to their lineup.

Commenting on the survey results Joseph Porus, Vice President of Harris Interactive's Technology Practice said, "Apple's new iPhone has shaken the industry to its core. Look for strong sales and a new cult to develop around iPhone. Also expect increased orders for midnight oil as competitors scramble to play catch-up."

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