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Study: Apple Gains Converts, RIM Makes Possible 'Fatal' Misstep

Raymond James study also finds that Nokia in smartphones and Microsoft in smartphones and tablets are 'struggling to gain attention with the U.S. consumer.'

Even as Apple reportedly missed some sales estimates for the launch of its iPhone 5 -- despite a reported more than 5 million sold -- Apple's share is still expected to grow as competitors struggle to create awareness in the market, according to a new study from Raymond James & Associates.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that even though 45 percent of the survey's 350 respondents own an Android device compared to 43 percent owning iPhones, 56 percent said they would choose the iPhone for their next device, while only 39 percent chose Android.

That's an increase in the percentage of respondents in June who said they would choose an iPhone, when 53 percent chose Apple. Thirty-nine percent also said in June that they would choose Android for their next device.

[Related: Apple's iOS 6 Delivers A Smarter Siri, New Maps App ]

Apple's gain from June to September came at the expense of Research In Motion, in which the percentage of respondents who said they would purchase a BlackBerry shrank from 6 percent to 3 percent.

Meanwhile, 28 percent of current iPhone users said they planned to buy an iPhone 5 before the end of the year, while 25 percent of non-iPhone users said they would purchase an iPhone 5 by the end of the year.

"We are a bit skeptical at this number as it does not seem to be harmonious with the answers [to the numbers above], but it does seem to show that there is significant pent-up demand for those switching from other OS platforms to iOS with the iPhone 5," wrote Tavis McCourt, a managing director of equity research with Raymond James, in a report about the study.

Raymond James also surveyed 86 consumers waiting in line to purchase the iPhone 5 in Nashville, Tenn., last Friday and found that 90 percent were existing iPhone users.

"[It's] a bit concerning and a bit contrary to our survey results, but we note that only true Apple zealots wait in line to get the phone," wrote McCourt. "We suspect more switching from other brands will be evident as the quarter progresses."

Also, 93 percent of the respondents said they knew of the iPhone 5 (the study was conducted after the product announcement but before launch). Meanwhile, 71 percent of respondents knew about the Kindle Fire, 42 percent were aware of Windows Phone 8, 30 percent were aware of a new Nokia smartphone and 29 percent were aware of the coming Microsoft Surface tablet.

"Clearly, Apple gets a huge advantage in getting its message out," McCourt wrote.

NEXT: Apple's Dominance In Tablets Expected To Continue As Well

Apple's expected market dominance is expected to continue in the tablet arena too, according to the Raymond James study. While 28 percent of respondents said they currently own an iPad (compared with 7.3 percent owning an Android tablet, 9.9 percent owning a Kindle Fire and less than 5 percent owning another tablet), another 39 percent said their future intention was to own an iPad, compared to 13.7 percent for Android and 8.4 percent for Kindle Fire.

"Apple's brand power shows no signs of abating and like the demand for the iPhone 5 we have seen already, consumer interest in the expected iPad Mini appears to be very strong," McCourt wrote. "A strong ecosystem seems to have become even more important over the last year as Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablet are quickly descending into irrelevance in the eyes of consumers.

"Considering BB10 for BlackBerry will not arrive until after the holiday season in first quarter 2013, the oft-delayed move to the new platform might prove to be fatal. Similarly, despite great hardware and critically applauded Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 software from Microsoft, both Nokia, in smartphones, and Microsoft in smartphones and tablets are struggling to gain attention with the U.S. consumer."


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