'Mapsgate' fails to dislocate iPhone 5 demand
Widely reported geo-glitches 'not a problem', say buyers
Were you steered away from the iPhone 5 by Apple’s ‘Mapsgate’ controversy? Were you tied by the introduction of a new, incompatible Lightning cables? If so, you're not like most potential buyers of Apple's latest phone, it seems. New research suggests these issues have had little or no impact on demand for the iPhone 5.
In September, ChangeWave Research, a US pollster, asked almost 4300 consumers in North America and beyond - most, however, were Americans - about what phones they plan to obtain, if at all, during the following six months.
Almost a third - 32 per cent - said they were very or somewhat likely to opt for the Apple device, either for themselves or for a family member. If it’s good enough for a close relative, it’s safe to assume it’s good enough for the buyer too.
Looking back a year to October 2011, the month of the iPhone 4S launch, and ChangeWave’s numbers show only 12.5 per cent of respondents were as keen on the latest Apple handset in the month of its release.
Of course, even the latest numbers show that 60 per cent of responses were not after an Apple. Of those who said they were unlikely to avail themselves of an iPhone 5, not one of them blamed the cost of buying Lightning adaptors for old add-ons. Likewise, no one laid the blame on the much-reported Maps glitches.
The researcher asked iPhone 5 owners - and folk with other handsets since upgraded to iOS 6, of which the new Maps app is a part - about these issues, and almost all of them - 91 per cent - said Maps had caused them little or no bother.
Only three per cent of respondents said Maps’ issues were a big deal for them. Add in those who thought it was a problem, just not a massive one, and you see a much lower level of dissatisfaction with Maps than was the case with the ‘Antennagate’ reception woes surrounding the iPhone 4 back in July 2010, ChangeWave noted.
You can argue that making calls is a more oft-used feature of a handset, even a data-centric smartphone, so failures there will register more highly with users. But the numbers still suggest iPhone users aren’t being as troubled by Maps’ failings as the headlines would have us believe.
Or that there's a lot of fingers in ears and 'la-la-la can't here you' on owners' lips.
The biggest reason for not buying an iPhone 5 then? No, it’s not the brand, or perceived hardware and software problems, but simply that folks’ current handsets are doing a good enough job. ChangeWave didn’t say so, but still being tied into a contract is likely to be a strong factor too, whatever brand of handset an individual happens to favour. But maybe the iPhone 5 simply hasn't excited would-be either. ®
May I be the first to say
Stop suffixing every scandal with Gate for fuck sake!
Watergate wasn't a scandal about water, so it's not even like it's appropriate usage
Right, might actually read the article now!
Re: May I be the first to say
Can I just add I think there's a conspiracy to add Gate to the end of any possible conspiracy or controversy. I'm calling it "Gategate".
The truth is...
that the 5 is still a bloody good smartphone. It has its own share of disadvantages, true, but still: Its a nice, stylish, very responsive and fluid, easy to use smartphone with a great, quick and easy to use camera, the panorama feature works extremely well and with no fussing around at all, there are lots of very nice apps for it that don't reek of "computer" at all (as opposed to many Android apps)... Basically it's a joy to use if what you want is an appliance and not a computer. The maps suck a fair bit, the cables and adapters are bloody expensive, but these are things you can live with.
And I even don't own one. I also don't like Apple as a company. Still, nice phone. Don't pretend everyone buying one is an idiot.
Re: May I be the first to say
The only part of this comment I don't agree with is the "Joke alert" icon.
Quote: "...the numbers still suggest iPhone users aren’t being as troubled by Maps’ failings as the headlines would have us believe"
Or the 'failings' are generally nit-picking. Apple's maps are better than Google's in our area. For example, Google's satellite images are at least 6 years out of date whereas Apple's appear to be right up to date. Everyone's experience will vary, but acting like Apple is the only one with Map problems is a bit disingenuous.