Apple has announced a special event dedicated to the next generation of the iPhone, slated for next Tuesday, October 4. An October launch falls way later than Apple's traditional iPhone unveiling time frame around June each year.
Thus, those extra few months (along with a lot of hype) could be reasons why demand for the iPhone 5 (or whatever it will be called) is far higher than one might have guessed.
According to a new survey from independent mobile advertising network InMobi, approximately 41 percent of current mobile users in the United States, Mexico, and Canada are planning to buy an iPhone 5. If those numbers actually pan out, that would arguably make the iPhone 5 the most successful launch from the consumer electronics company ever.
James Lamberti, VP Global Research & Marketing at InMobi, remarked in a statement:
The combination of Apple's increasing market share in mobile advertising and general consumer interest in their latest technology is another boon for the mobile advertising industry. Apple is currently the clear leader in terms of compelling user experience and customer loyalty, and we feel that their quality and pace of innovation when it comes to mobile devices will continue to improve the content and advertising experience for consumers for iPhone 5 and beyond.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that all of these consumers are going to go out and buy the iPhone 5 the day it is released. (At least we hope not. Holiday shopping is stressful enough before adding a brand-new iPhone into the mix.) InMobi expects that more than half of that 41 percent group will throw down cash or plastic for the iPhone 5 within the first six months of launching.
There's also another major caveat to this survey. InMobi predicts that if the iPhone 5 is only a minor release -- say an iPhone 4GS or something like that, which has already drawn up numerous rumors of its own -- then fewer than 15 percent of North American mobile users will likely buy the next-gen iPhone.
Thus, if the iPhone 5 is a revolutionary device for the brand, that means that those who would be willing to buy the iPhone 5 might just upgrade earlier than allowed, upgrade because they finally can and have been waiting for an iPhone (customers who still have an iPhone 3GS or earlier), or are switching from a completely different cell phone (and maybe even carrier) just for what could be the most advanced (or at least best-looking) smartphone available.
For those non-iPhone users, InMobi's study revealed that 52 percent of BlackBerry users plan to convert to iOS with the iPhone 5, followed by roughly one in four (27 percent) of Android users.
However, even if it is a minor upgrade, at least 28 percent of BlackBerry smartphone owners will still make the switch, which is more revealing about the state of RIM and the BlackBerry brand than it might be about Apple.