iPhone’s Perceived Usability Contributing To Massive Consumer Demand
iPhone skeptics take note: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that the iPhone has sparked massive consumer interest and may enable AT&T to capture other carriers’ customers. According to an M:Metrics survey cited in the article:
Two-thirds of mobile-phone users who are interested in purchasing the iPhone aren’t AT&T customers but would be willing to switch carriers to obtain the device, according to a survey in May of about 11,000 cellphone users . . . The carrier with the most to be concerned about is T-Mobile USA, according to the survey, with 12.5% of its customers expressing a high interest in the phone; followed by 8.1% for Sprint Nextel Corp.; and 6.7% for Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile is seen as especially vulnerable because it has a high share of users in the 18-to-24 age group.
The article says that “about 19 million people in the U.S., or roughly 9% of cellphone users, are highly interested in purchasing the iPhone, even when armed with the knowledge they’ll need to pay $499 or $599 to snatch up one of the two versions.”
These are big barriers and yet the interest is great. Is it just hype? I don’t think so. The phone is beautiful and, in that sense, a fashion statement. There’s also the lure of being one of the first iPhone owners.
But the bigger issue here is usability. The iPhone promises a much-improved user experience and the level of interest among U.S. consumers shows how hungry people are for a phone on which they can have a better mobile Web-browsing experience. The iPod part doesn’t hurt either.