Nearly a quarter of US consumers questioned in a survey highlighted price as the main reason why they were not considering buying an Apple iPhone 3G.
Another impediment to purchase was people’s preference for a network carrier other than AT&T, Apple’s exclusive provider of the handsets in the US.
Only 4 per cent of those surveyed by PriceGrabber.com, a part of Experian, currently own an iPhone, but 42 per cent said they are considering buying one.
The study investigated purchasing trends and smartphone pricing history based on a survey of 3,066 online consumers conducted from May 20 to June 5, 2008.
Of the remaining 54 per cent who do not intend to purchase the iPhone, 41 per cent – or 22 per cent of the total – said that the mobile device costs too much.
The researchers pointed to the recent announcement of the lower-priced iPhone 3G, which they concluded could persuade more online consumers to buy one of the new smartphones.
That could hinge on how potential buyers view the expensive data plans and contract agreements that come with the iPhone – some of which are required for at least two years.
Apple has announced that it plans to sell at least 8 million new iPhones worldwide by the end of 2008.
In the UK, where the first-generation iPhone was not exactly the success that Apple had hoped for, interest in the latest version is high.
More than 130,000 people have expressed their desire to buy an iPhone 3G since O2, the UK’s largest mobile operator and exclusive iPhone carrier, has announced the upcoming availability of iPhone 3G.
This represents a huge increase over the interest shown by the British consumers for the first handset.
On the corporate side, Apple appears to be appealing to more US business users.
Of the 4 per cent of respondents surveyed by PriceGrabber who currently own an iPhone, 40 per cent own two smartphone devices — one device for work and the iPhone for personal use.
More than half of those respondents plan to get rid of their second device because of the Apple’s new synching capabilities.
Survey respondents also indicated that the MP3 player within the iPhone is one of their least favorite features.
The majority of online consumers say that the fingertip navigation feature is the best feature of the iPhone, while 17 per cent chose the Web browsing connection and 16 per cent enjoy the integrated applications.