iPhone Commands Price Premium as Smartphone Sales Grow

An iGR survey suggests consumers intending to buy an iPhone would pay more than they would for an Android smartphone.

Smartphone sales in May accounted for 71 percent of overall mobile handset sales, with basic phones representing just 28 percent of sales, according to a survey from iGR, a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. The survey also found users intending on purchasing Apple€™s popular iPhone are willing to pay $11 more for the device compared with Google Android-based smartphones.

Consumers were on average willing to pay $135.90 for an Apple iPhone, compared with $124.65 for an Android device, according to survey results. Overall, the majority of consumers who recently purchased a handset of any type reported a mean handset purchase price of approximately $114.23 (weighted). Similarly, the majority of consumers who plan to buy any type of handset in the near future plan to spend on average approximately $127.25 (weighted), still nearly $9 below the average price survey respondents said they would spend on an iPhone.

With the rise of mobile email, social networking and constant connectivity to the Web, consumers are developing an increasing interest in mobile devices that can connect them to the Internet, the survey indicated-- close to 69 percent of the handsets survey respondents said they plan to buy in the future are likely to be smartphones. "Smartphones have become the new norm," iGR President and founder Iain Gillott said in a prepared statement. "60 percent of the survey respondents iGR interviewed reported using a smartphone."

The market research report, "U.S. Consumer Smartphone Profile: Current Use and Future Purchase Plans," which looks at consumer trends in the United States regarding smartphones, also indicated that while the smartphone market currently skews toward a younger demographic (below 45), older consumers are starting to find smartphones more appealing as their presence becomes more familiar and comfortable to older consumers. €œIndeed, the purchasing demographic must shift in the next few years in order for smartphone adoption to increase,€ the report noted.

In another recent iGR report concerning Apple, the company conducted a survey in which 11 percent of respondents said their perception of Apple had worsened since the passing of charismatic founder and CEO Steve Jobs last year. The vast majority (84 percent) said their opinion of Apple had not changed, with 3.5 percent saying it improved and 1 percent saying their image of the company had €œmuch improved.€ The survey indicated current Apple users are far more likely to fall into the €œno change€ category, suggesting the party faithful are staying put, while the 11 percent of respondents with a negative view of Apple are more likely to be users of Motorola or Samsung devices running Android.

€œWhile a significant number of people said that their perception of the company has worsened, the core Apple user base seems to be unmoved in their views of the company,€ Gillott said in an iGR release.