ChangeWave Survey Shows Research In Motion Battling Apple for Smart Phone Lead Among Consumers

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According to ChangeWave's latest smart phone survey, demand for Research In Motion's (RIMM) upcoming new models points to a potentially powerful counteroffensive to Apple's (AAPL) 3G iPhone. And while the findings show the smart phone market is big enough for both companies to thrive -- it's the other cell phone manufacturers that look like the real losers.

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These results show consumers hungry for all varieties of BlackBerry

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Two weeks before the new Apple (AAPL) iPhone 3G iPhone was released, a ChangeWave consumer survey showed it was likely to have a tsunami-like impact on the smart phone market. But what does that mean for current market share leader Research in Motion (RIMM)?

The ChangeWave consumer survey showed the 3G iPhone catapulting Apple into the lead in terms of planned consumer smart phone purchases for the next 90 days. Note that RIM remains the leader among current smart phone owners in the consumer market, and RIM holds a huge lead in the corporate market.

Yet despite its current lead in both markets, Research in Motion (RIMM) isn't taking the Apple (AAPL) 3G challenge lying down. The Canadian manufacturer has multiple plans in motion to counter Apple's momentum among consumers, including an already announced new product release (the Bold) and two likely additional product releases (the Thunder and Kickstart).

To get a sense of the market potential for RIM's new smart phone arsenal, ChangeWave surveyed 3,567 consumers on their reaction to the new RIM counteroffensive. The survey was conducted in the aftermath of the Apple 3G announcement (June 17-23), but before the new iPhone model was released.

(Detailed charts on smart phone trends, along with additional ChangeWave findings can be downloaded at changewave.com/smartphone)

Preparing For Multiple Battles

Consumer respondents were presented a brief description containing key features of RIM's new smart phone models, along with a follow-up question asking them how likely they were to buy each model if and when it becomes available.

The survey found the new RIM releases each showing considerable potential among consumers once they actually get into the marketplace.

--A total of 4% of respondents report they're Very Likely to buy the new RIM/BlackBerry Bold when it becomes available. Another 13% are Somewhat Likely.

--Slightly less positive but nonetheless significant, 2% of respondents say they're Very Likely to buy a RIM/BlackBerry Thunder when available. A total of 13% are Somewhat Likely.

--Another 2% say they're Very Likely to buy a RIM/BlackBerry Kickstart when it becomes available, and 11% are Somewhat Likely.

"These results show consumers hungry for all varieties of BlackBerry," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, who added, "it appears like when it comes to the BlackBerry, the adage 'if you build it, they will come,' certainly holds true."

The strength of these early survey results on the demand for RIM's new products points to a potentially powerful counteroffensive to Apple's 3G iPhone, according to Smith. "The real losers in this smart phone battle will most likely be the second-tier players, who could find themselves increasingly pushed to the sidelines as the two Goliaths battle for market dominance."

To find out which manufacturers are most at risk because of the RIM counteroffensive, ChangeWave looked at the impact of the new RIM releases on the rest of the smart phone industry.

The survey found that current RIM customers are two-to-three times more likely to buy the new RIM models than the customers of other manufacturers. The survey also found that the new RIM releases have a significant potential to lure away customers from other manufacturers -- with Palm (PALM), Motorola (MOT) and Samsung the most vulnerable.

Apple customers, on the other hand, appear least likely to buy any of the new RIM phones.

To sign-up for real time email alerts from ChangeWave on smart phone trends and winning and losing companies, visit changewave.com/hotwire

About ChangeWave:

ChangeWave runs a proprietary network of more than 15,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals in leading companies of select industries -- credentialed experts who spend their everyday lives working on the frontline of technological change. ChangeWave surveys its members on a range of business and investment research and intelligence topics, collects feedback from them electronically, and converts the information into proprietary quantitative and qualitative reports. For more information, visit changewave.com.

For questions, contact Darlene March: darlene@changewave.com

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DARLENE MARCH

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