iPhone 4 envy: 34 percent of consumers would switch to Apple, if their carriers allowed it

The Apple Phone remains exceptionally popular among consumers, according to a new survey by ChangeWave.

Apple's iPhone 4, shown here at a store in Korea, remains exceptionally popular with consumers, according to a new survey from ChangeWave.

iPhone 4 death grip? Forgotten. Spotty reception? Over it. According to a new poll by the research firm ChangeWave, a whopping 77 percent of iPhone owners are "very satisfied" with their handsets. That figure easily bests the 71 percent of Motorola owners happy with their phones – and towers over the 44 percent of RIM owners who considered themselves "very satisfied" with their BlackBerry smartphones.

The ChangeWave poll, which surveyed 1,212 new smartphone owners, also provided new insight into a particularly relevant question: How eager are non-AT&T customers to get their hands on an iPhone? The short answer: Very. ChangeWave says that 34 percent of consumers would have opted for an iPhone instead of a different smartphone, had it been available through their carrier.

"The results," ChangeWave exec Paul Carton noted in an accompanying press release, "show the continuing threat the iPhone poses to the rest of the industry." Indeed – especially if, as rumored, Verizon begins selling the Apple iPhone 4 in early 2011. Among the most recent reports on a possible Verizon iPhone is a piece published in Fortune magazine, which confirmed that the CDMA handset is a "fait accompli."

"Unfortunately for globe trotters," Fortune contributor Sarah Ellison wrote recently, "the first version of the [Verizon iPhone] likely won't be built to work outside the US – it probably won't carry a special chip that can turn it into a 'world phone.' However, it may have some of the features on the iPad distributed in Verizon's stores, like live TV for customers of the FiOS cable service."

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