HTC and Apple are the front-runners in the smartphone race

future buying

The survey group ChangeWave has some good insight for us based on their latest survey of 4,028 American consumers.  It seems that there was a 16.4% increase in people who were planning to purchase a smartphone within the next three months since the last survey in March.  This is the largest amount in the history of this survey.  The second largest increase was from this period, March to June, last year at 14.4%.  Both of these can probably be attributed to the iPhones that were announced in this time period.

They have run this survey every four months since January 2008.  Now that we know that the smartphone market is growing-or should I say exploding-a great thing to know is what is it that people will buy?  Fortunately, ChangeWave got this data for us as well.

As you can see from the graph, 52% are planning to buy from Apple, but HTC is up as well holding a respectable 19%.  Motorola has gone down a bit, but Droid X was not on the market (or known about by the masses) when this survey was done.  Also, in the March survey, Motorola had a respectable 16%, so it looks to me only as though HTC and Motorola are doing a tango.

Poor Palm and RIM.  It does not look like they are holding on very well.

The next datum is very interesting.  Consumer satisfaction.  These are customers who say they are "very satisfied" with their current handset manufacturer.

Somehow, I bet these numbers will change in the next version of the survey.  Lots of disgruntled iBuyers.

There is also data on RIM satisfaction.  I'll give you a hint; it's tanking.  RIM satisfaction had it's all time high in September 2008, but it peaked, and is consistently falling.  In fact it has never been this low, and they have satisfaction data about RIM since April 2007.

So what does this mean for us Androiders?  HTC and Motorola have consistently been making more popular Android handsets in the states.  That will probably continue.  Also, based on the current dissatisfaction of the iBuyers, we might have a bunch of new converts.  We will probably need to see the next iteration of this survey to decide what this version actually means.