A survey of more than 4,000 North American consumers by ChangeWave Research showed a record enthusiasm for Apple’s next-generation smartphone, with nearly a third saying they were likely to buy one.
“Advance demand for the ‘iPhone 5′ is strikingly higher than we’ve seen for any previous iPhone model,” said Paul Carton, ChangeWave’s vice president of research, in an abbreviated report sent via email.
Of the people polled, 14% said they were “very likely” to buy a new iPhone for themselves or a family member, while 17% asserted that they were “somewhat likely” to do so.
ChangeWave described the next iPhone in broad terms, incorporating the speculation that’s centered on a slightly-larger screen and a connection to the faster LTE mobile data networks, as well as the near-certainty that it will be powered by iOS 6, the next version of Apple’s operating system.
Apple’s current model, the iPhone 4S, does not support LTE, although the company added it to the new iPad, which debuted last March.
The 31% total of those who said they were likely to buy the iPhone 5 was 44% higher than the 21.5% who answered the same way in a survey ChangeWave conducted last year just before the launch of the iPhone 4S.
“The biggest finding of the survey is the unprecedented level of advance demand for the next generation Apple iPhone, which based on these survey numbers easily dwarfs the advance demand of any previous iPhone launch,” said Carton.
Apple does not disclose individual iPhone model sales, but in the two quarters reported since the Oct. 4, 2011, launch of the iPhone 4S, the company has sold 72.1 million iPhones, its best-ever six-month stretch.
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