Many BlackBerry users suffer from iPhone envy, survey shows

A significant number of Blackberry owners suffer from iPhone envy, according to a new report out today.

Four out of ten Blackberry owners and other smartphone users said they would switch to the iPhone when it comes time to purchase a new device, according to the survey by Crowd Science, an online metrics firm.

The future for Blackberry doesn’t look that bright either, since the same survey says only fourteen per cent of smartphone users would switch from another phone to the Blackberry.

See the results of the 30-day test to determine whether it’s the BlackBerry or the iPhone that’s best for business.

Crowd Science’s survey follows a report of stagnant subscriber and shipment growth for its wide range of devices from Blackberry maker, Research In Motion.

iHappiness is…

The BlackBerry and iPhone outpace all other smartphones but Crowd Science also says a whopping 82 per cent of iPhone users are loyal to their Apple brand, and iPhone owners are apparently more satisfied with their device than any other group of smartphone users.

As if that wasn’t enough iPhone love coming from this survey, Crowd Science also found that iPhone users outpace all other smartphone owners in taking advantage of their device’s capabilities.

According to Crowd Science, while Blackberry owners and other smartphone users are still trying to figure out how to use their e-mail, iPhone-heads are using their device to listen to music, play games, use their GPS capabilities, make purchases from the iTunes store, and on and on.

Interestingly, Crowd Science also found the nature of the smartphone is changing: only three per cent of all smartphone owners are using their device for business, while 71 per cent of those surveyed are using their devices for both work and play.

iCrack?

This survey just pours on way too much iPhone love for my liking. It wouldn’t surprise me if iPhone users were using their devices for a wider range of actions, since the iPhone-iTunes App Store ecosystem is so strong.

The iPhone has a lot of business-ready features but is also a device geared towards the everyday user, so the fact that consumers are using it as an entertainment device/mobile Internet gadget/ GPS unit (coming soon)/camera/phone is not surprising.

Consumer exuberance and slick marketing may also explain the 82 per cent satisfaction rate Crowd Science found among iPhone users.

But what about that forty per cent of Blackberry users who are thinking about making the switch?

That seems awfully high to me. But when you take a look at Crowd Science’s methodology, these numbers make a little more sense. The metrics firm said their survey sample included users 14 years of age and older from Web sites across a “wide range of topic areas serving over 20 million unique visitors.”

The participants were profiled by Crowd Science during one of those pop-up surveys you see when you visit certain Web sites.

But what caught my eye was the fact that Crowd Science said they conducted this survey between May 19 and June 8 of this year. Remember what happened on June 8?

Oh yeah, Apple’s keynote address from the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference where they introduced a highly anticipated new iPhone.

So just when Apple mania was at a fever pitch–when thousands of iPhone-centric new stories, blog posts, comments, tweets and rumors were being produced–Crowd Science decides to survey the public about the iPhone.

Bad Timing

I’m not saying the iPhone isn’t a popular device, but based on the timing of this survey, the results might be just a bit skewed?

If Crowd Science really wants to do an interesting survey, they should put iPhone satisfaction to the test in September after the summer of smartphones is over.

That would be a perfect time to see how the iPhone 3G S stacks up against the Palm Pre, myTouch 3G, the Blackberry Tour, the Nokia N97 and whatever other smartphones are headed our way.

If I sold a million iPhones

Right now, though, it’s clear that Apple mania dominates the smart phone scene.

On Tuesday, Apple announced it sold one million iPhone 3G S phones through Sunday, three days after the device launched, matching last year’s sales mark of the iPhone 3G.

“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.

The iPhone 3G S sales mark claimed by Apple is significantly higher than analysts’ estimates before the weekend. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, for example, had pegged sales at 500,000, then upped his estimate early Monday — before Apple announced its number — to 750,000.

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology had also expected slower sales this year, and like Munster, had bet on around a half million. “Clearly, surprise is my first reaction,” said Gottheil when asked about Apple’s one million figure. “I was off by 100 per cent, wasn’t I?”

Gottheil added that Apple’s sales were “impressive” in the face of the continued recession, but added that in hindsight they shouldn’t have been such a shock.

“What we’re seeing is the adoption curve for smartphones,” he said. “People are seeing that they’re useful. Apple didn’t start the smartphone business, but they made it fun and classy. Typical Apple.”

Although Apple sold the same number of iPhone 3G S handsets this year as iPhone 3Gs last summer, it did so in fewer markets. The iPhone 3G S is currently available in only in seven countries; the iPhone 3G went on sale its first weekend in more than 20.”Even more impressive than the one million,” added Gottheil, “is that they were prepared for that.”

Apple also said that approximately six million owners of older iPhones had downloaded the new iPhone 3.0 software since its release June 17.

Jobs’ statement is the first in an Apple press release since he took medical leave in January for an undisclosed illness that previously had been described only as a hormonal imbalance.

Jobs is slated to return to Apple at the end of this month.On Friday, the Wall Street Journal said that Jobs had a liver transplant in Tennessee two months ago, but did not name its sources.

“His name in the release is a clue,” Gottheil said. “It’s a confirmation of what Apple has been saying all along, that he’ll be back in some capacity at the end of the month. He’s clearly stepping back in to a more active management role.”

Source: PCWorld.com and Computerworld.com

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