ChangeWave Research today announced the results of a survey of over 4,000 professional and early-adopter smartphone users, primarily focused on the North American market. According to the survey, consumers looking to purchase a smartphone over the next 90 days are increasingly preferring the iPhone over Android by a count of 46%-32%, even with Apple holding off on introducing a iPhone in June as it has done every year since its original debut.
Historical tracking of consumer preference shows an interesting pattern, with Android rapidly gaining favor with consumers in the latter half of 2009 and equalling the iPhone by early 2010. And while the release of the iPhone 4 in mid-2010 gave Apple a temporary 20-point edge, it quickly returned to a neck-and-neck race over the remainder of 2010.
But 2011 has seen Apple suddenly open up a decent-sized margin over Android, as Apple has continued to expand availability and introduced the CDMA iPhone running on Verizon. The survey also points to Apple's iCloud announcement as a positive for the iPhone with 21% of current Apple product owners and 13% of non-owners reporting that iCloud has made them more likely to purchase Apple products going forward.
Apple also continues to lead in consumer satisfaction with 70% of iPhone owners reporting that they are "very satisfied" with the device, although that number has dropped slightly over the device's four-year lifetime. Android and Windows Phone 7 sit in the 50-60% range for "very satisfied" scores, while Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform has fallen to a new low with only 27% of owners registering as very satisfied with their devices. The loss of customer satisfaction with BlackBerry has also bled over into future purchasing plans, with only 4% of consumers looking to purchase a smartphone within the next 90 days planning to turn to a BlackBerry device.