Consumers who intend to purchase smartphones are closely eyeing Samsung smartphones, according to new research by 451 ChangeWave. In fact, the percentage of people planning to buy Samsung devices has increased from just 5 percent in September 2011 to 21 percent in December 2012. 451 ChangeWave's survey covers planned purchases that consumers will make during the next 90 days.
The company, which has been tracking smartphone buying intentions of consumers for the past four years, believes its latest research is significant for Samsung. The December survey found that while 50 percent of North Americans still plan on buying an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone during the first of 2013, that number is down from 71 percent during the previous quarter. Approximately 21 percent of consumers said they would purchase a Samsung device in the December survey.
451 ChangeWave notes that there is still strong consumer interest in Apple, and demand for Apple usually increases immediately following an iPhone release and then returns to a lower mark. However, in this latest survey that lower mark for the iPhone 5 is lower than previous iterations of the iPhone, indicating Samsung is making gains on Apple.
Specifically, 451 ChangeWave said that Apple has traditionally seen a steady increase in purchase intentions by consumers from 30 percent in the 2008/2009 time frame to 40 percent in the 2010/2011 time frame to 50 percent in 2012. However, with the iPhone 5, consumer purchase intentions have dropped of more quickly than in the past. For example, after the iPhone 5 was introduced there was a 19 point drop vs. 11 points after the iPhone 4S was introduced and 13 points after the iPhone 4 was introduced.
451 ChangeWave's results aren't surprising as many analyst firms have predicted that Samsung will expand its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market this year. In fact earlier this month, Strategy Analytics predicted that Samsung will widen its lead as the world's largest smartphone vendor in 2013. "We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told Reuters in a Jan. 4 report.
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