Who’ll buy the iPhone?

Canalys’ new consumer mobility survey (2,000 mobile users surveyed across Europe) included a question rating handset makers. Unsurprisingly, Nokia came out as the clear leader, with almost half the respondents giving the vendor the highest rating and 84% saying they were more likely than not to consider it.

Nokia was some way ahead of Sony Ericsson, which was followed closely by Samsung and then Motorola.

Consumers’ ratings of Apple gave it a mid-table position, behind LG, but marginally ahead of well-known smart mobile device vendors like RIM, HP and Palm. “Given that the iPhone has not even shipped yet this gives an indication of how well its brand could play in the consumer mobile phone space,” observes Canalys. “But it will still need to overcome the technical and channel-related challenges entry into this market brings.
“Apple’s rating improves dramatically when you talk to existing iPod owners,” said senior analyst Pete Cunningham. “Almost half the respondents who owned an iPod rated Apple as more likely than not be considered for their next phone, compared to just 20% for those who didn’t have an iPod, and they were five times as likely to give Apple the highest rating. There is a lot of loyalty there that Apple can tap into.”