Apple's iPhone seems set to disrupt the mobile phone industry, with ChangeWave claiming up to 16 per cent of those planning to buy a mobile in the next six months will buy an iPhone.
The latest Changewave consumer mobile phone survey was conducted among 3,003 members of the ChangeWave Alliance last month.
The results showed 16 per cent of those in the sample group who plan to buy a mobile phone will buy an iPhone, "catapulting Apple ahead of all other manufacturers," the researchers said, describing that company's move into the mobile market as causing a "virtual upheaval" in the industry.
"Although iPhone sales are still in their nascent stages, the effects on phone manufacturers are already beginning to take shape - and no company is bearing the brunt of this more than Motorola," the researchers report.
A report from analyst firm, IDC, shores up the ChangeWave claims.
Mobile phone sales rose 6.9 per cent sequentially to 272.7 million units worldwide in the second quarter 2007, IDC explained.
Whlle Motorola retains the largest (31 per cent) market share, the company has lost two percentage points - while Apple has already picked-up one per cent of the mobile market according to ChangeWave.
IDC reports worse news for Motorola - its research indicates that Samsung beat Motorola for the number two spot in global market share after four years of stable rankings.
"There's no doubt about it, consumers are embracing the iPhone. And judging by the numbers, they will continue embracing it," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing. "The ascendance of the iPhone is going to be a game-changer for both mobile phone manufacturers and mobile service providers."
"While the shift in the industry vendor rankings is certainly of importance, perhaps, the big story of the quarter was Apple's debut as a mobile phone vendor with its launch of the iPhone," says Shiv K. Bakhshi, director of worldwide mobile device research at IDC.
"Even though limited in the number of units shipped, the iPhone is likely to have a disproportionately large impact on the industry. For one, it has pushed the envelope on industrial design and user interfaces for all vendors. For another, it could forever alter the structural relationship between device vendors and mobile operators who have traditionally controlled the mobile environment, especially in the US.
"Equally important, the unparalleled hype surrounding the iPhone could lift mobile devices out of a utilitarian frame of reference and place them squarely in the fashion frame of reference, potentially raising average selling prices for the entire industry. For the present, however, it seems at least to have raised the profile for all converged mobile devices," the IDC analyst explained.
The ChangeWave survey also asked consumers how satisfied they were with their current phone, and found the iPhone registering the highest satisfaction levels of any device. An extraordinary 77 per cent of iPhone owners said they were "Very Satisfied" with their device. The RIM Blackberry also received a relatively high rating, with one-in-two owners reporting they were "Very Satisfied".
At the other end of the spectrum, just 36 per cent of Motorola owners, 34 per cent of Palm owners and 29 per cent of Sony/Ericsson owners reported that they were "Very Satisfied" with their phones.
The ChangeWave survey also showed that Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T seems likely to erode the market share of other mobile networks. 30 per cent of survey respondents who said they plan to switch networks in the coming months plan to move to AT&T.
ChangeWave Alliance is a network of over 10,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals in leading companies of select industries.