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iPhone demand in the UK is 'soft', survey finds

Even die-hard fans may not convert

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The UK's largest iPhone survey undertaken by iPhone blog iphonic.tv has found that while interest in Apple's upcoming mobile is very high, even Apple die-hards won't invest in the handset unless it is competitively priced and available on their network.

While 72 per cent of the 487 respondents (74 per cent of which already own Apple hardware) are considering buying an iPhone, only 7.6 per cent said they would definitely purchase one. The clear sticking point appears to be price with only 14 per cent of respondents saying they would pay more than £250 to own an iPhone.

Potential iPhone buyers were also reluctant to switch networks to own a model with only 26 per cent saying they would leave their current provider. Just 12 per cent said they would break contract to get an iPhone.

"I think the research underlines that Apple is now entering what is a much more complex market than computers or music players," says iphonic.tv editor Andy Merrett.

"Apple's exclusivity on the hardware and software front (though criticised) is, I believe, a good idea. Its exclusivity with retail and network partners is a bad idea. Not only does it alienate people on other networks that don't want to switch - even for an iPhone - but it keeps the price high and choice low."

The research also found that the design and touch screen are considered to be the phone's best features, while price and battery life rate as its biggest weaknesses.

Finally, only 28 per cent of respondents said they were likely to buy another iPod after the iPhone launched in the UK. A more detailed account of the survey is here. ®

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