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One-third of US consumers will buy an iPhone 5

Touchdown in first week of September?

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According to a new survey, over one third of US consumers plan to buy an iPhone 5, and a new rumor suggests that they'll only need to wait until the first week of September to assuage their aching desire.

"Our survey data confirms the strong following Apple has built around its iPhone, with more than one-third of consumers planning to upgrade to the latest model only a little over a year following the release of the iPhone 4," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber, which conducted the survey of 2,852 online consumers.

To be exact, the survey found that 35 per cent of US consumers plan to buy an iPhone 5. Of those, 51 per cent will snag it during its first year of availability, 30 per cent will pick one up before the end of this year, 14 per cent within its first month, and 7 per cent in the first week.

That is, of course, if Apple can supply enough iPhone 5s at launch, and if there aren't riots in the streets outside of Apple stores.

The survey also delved into what it was about the not-yet-released and not-yet-described Cupertinian smartphone that the respondents thought most important:

  • 59 per cent: better battery life
  • 55 per cent: lower cost
  • 46 per cent: 4G network compatibility
  • 45 per cent: a larger display
  • 42 per cent: a better camera

The Reg suspects that 46 per cent of those surveyed may be disappointed.

PriceGrabber also asked the respondents what phone they'd most like to receive as a gift. The overwhelming preference for Apple's offering may influence your holiday shopping:

  • iPhone 5: 69 per cent
  • Motorola Droid Bionic: 7 per cent
  • Samsung Galaxy S II: 4 per cent
  • BlackBerry Curve: 3 per cent

The respondents showed no love for Windows Phone 7 or webOS devices – however, considering those handsets' near-invisibility in the market, it may simply be that those surveyed had never heard of them.

Arriving September 5 – or close

If the most recent rumors are true, the holiday iPhone 5 shopping frenzy may begin far earlier than the traditional start of the US's yearly conspicuous consumption festival, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving – that'll be November 25 this year.

The latest iPhone 5 rumeur du jour – or, considering its source, perhaps diceria del giorno would be more appropriate – comes from iPhoneItalia (Google Translate) by way of Computerworld. The Italians report that un alto dirigente della Swisscom – a senior executive of Switzerland's top telco, Swisscom – told them that his company would begin to offer the iPhone 5 on October 5, and that it would be released in the US one month earlier.

One month earlier, however, would be September 5, which is the US summer-ending holiday of Labor Day. Jobs & Co. may have tremendous pull, but its unlikely that even they would schedule a major rollout for the third day of a three-day weekend.

In related news, Apple's stock price comfortably crossed the $400-per-share threshhold on Tuesday, after bumping into it on Monday for the first time in company history. If sales of the iPhone 5 are anywhere near what PriceGrabber's survey predicts, $400 may seem like a bargain come New Year's Day. ®

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