Americans want iPhone, buy Android

The iPhone remains the most desirable phone among North American consumers – as well as the most liked among current users.

The iPhone tops a recent consumer survey, both in terms of desirability and consumer satisfaction. Here, an iPhone 4.

Despite the gargantuan gains made by Google's Android operating system, the Apple iPhone remains the most desirable handset in North America. That's the gist of a recent poll by the analytics firm ChangeWave, which polled 4,163 consumers in the US and Canada. Of the consumers considering purchasing a smart phone, 46 percent told ChangeWave they were leaning toward the iPhone, while 32 percent said they were eying some sort of Android device.

The ChangeWave team also took a look at current customer satisfaction, and again, Apple came out on top, by a hefty margin. A whopping 70 percent of current iPhone users reported being "very satisfied" with their mobile devices, compared to 50 percent of Android users, and a paltry 27 percent of Windows OS users. (A caveat: 57 percent of Windows Phone 7 users were "very satisfied," compared to 14 percent of Windows Mobile OS users.)

The numbers provide an interesting counterbalance to the conventional tech market scuttlebutt: That Android will soon dominate the mobile market. Android, after all, is growing, and growing fast. Horizons readers will remember that back in June, Google announced that it was activating 500,000 Android phones a day, a boost from 300,000 last December.

Clearly, though, activations don't denote preferences. There's also desirability – something Apple products have always possessed – and consumer satisfaction, which dictates whether or not folks will come back for more. Hence the results of a recent survey from Roger Fidler, the program director for digital publishing at Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

Fidler recently finished polling a whole bunch of iPad owners, and he discovered an interesting trend: the longer iPad owners own their Apple tablets, the more they love them. That is "unusual for new technology devices,” Fidler said. "In most cases, satisfaction tends to drop off significantly after about 13 weeks. That clearly is not the trend with the iPad."

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