3G iPhone to Have Tsunami-Like Impact, According to New ChangeWave Survey

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According to a new ChangeWave survey, Apple's (AAPL) new 3G iPhone is going to have a tsunami-like impact on the consumer smart phone market once it's released. While Research in Motion (RIMM) remains the clear market leader, the iPhone has gained market share in four consecutive surveys and is close to wrestling the number two spot away from Palm (PALM).

Percentage of Respondents Planning on Buying a RIM, Palm or Apple Smart Phone over the next 90 days

but it's when we asked respondents about their planned smart phone purchases over the next 90 days that this tsunami-like effect of the marketplace transformation becomes crystal clear.

The new 3G iPhone from Apple (AAPL) is going to have a tsunami-like impact on the consumer smart phone market, according to a new ChangeWave survey of 3,567 consumers conducted in the aftermath of Apple's June 9th announcement.

At present, the Canadian Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIMM) (42%; unchanged) is the clear consumer smart phone market leader among smart phone owners.

But the biggest mover over the past 90 days has been the Apple iPhone (11%; up 2-pts), which continues to make major inroads in the consumer marketplace. Having gained market share for the fourth-consecutive survey, it is now close to wrestling the number two spot away from PALM (14%; down 2-pts) which has sunk to a new record low.

"These numbers are good news for Apple," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, "but it's when we asked respondents about their planned smart phone purchases over the next 90 days that this tsunami-like effect of the marketplace transformation becomes crystal clear."

The Coming Apple Tsunami

The survey found that a full 56% of respondents who plan to purchase a smart phone in the next 90 days say they're getting an Apple iPhone - a huge 21-pt leap from the previous survey.

The accompanying chart shows just how dramatic a jump in market share this represents.

Going forward, RIM's share of consumer planned purchases is set to take a hit over the next 90 days, falling 6-pts to 23%. Palm remains a far distant third with just 3% of planned purchases.

Note that the above chart focuses exclusively on the 10.5% of total survey respondents who say they plan on buying a smart phone during the next 90 days. The 10.5% represents a sharp jump from the previous survey in March, and it is the highest percentage of planned smart phone buyers recorded in a ChangeWave survey.

"The most likely explanation for such a large-scale projected increase in smart phone buyers going forward is the anticipation and publicity surrounding the imminent release of the 3G iPhone," said Smith.

In another positive for the new 3G iPhone, better than one-in-two current iPhone owners (55%) say they're Very Likely to buy the 3G iPhone for themselves or someone else in the future. And many don't plan to wait long. Among this group, half (50%) say they'll purchase within the first 90 days of release.

RIM Gets Set to Counterattack

While the 3G iPhone announcement has catapulted Apple ahead in terms of planned consumer smart phone purchases, it should be remembered that Research in Motion has a huge lead of its own in the corporate smart phone market. RIM is also still the leader among current owners in the consumer market.

Moreover, RIM isn't sitting idly by while Apple rolls out the 3G iPhone. 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).

In an upcoming release, ChangeWave will report on what consumer respondents have to say about RIM's new counteroffensive--and the ongoing battle for smart phone supremacy.

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 and contact details, go to: changewave.com/apple). For questions email darlene@changewave.com and mnocerino@changewave.com

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