What do iPhone buyers want? What Android users already have


Warning: The following information may upset you if you believe Apple products are flawless, magical pieces of technology. In other words, Apple fanboys: Proceed with caution.

Still with me? Good. Because we have a study to discuss that's quite the interesting little piece of research.


The report, from British Columbia-based research firm Vision Critical, looks at what features prospective smartphone buyers wish Apple's new iPhone 4 included. The VC-from-the-BC crew surveyed a "nationally representative" pool of 4,000 adults in Canada, the United States, and the UK to see what missing elements would make them feel all warm and tingly about Apple's latest offering.

So what's on the wish list? Here's a hint: It reads a bit like a partial rundown of features for a certain other mobile platform.

Drumroll, please…


[This story is from the new Android Power blog at Computerworld. Follow @AndroidPower on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

1) Choice of networks.

Among Americans, 39 percent of potential iPhone buyers said they wished they could pick the carrier of their choice for their mobile device. Sure, the iPhone might hit Verizon next year, or this summer, or sometime in the third quarter of 2043 — but we've heard those rumblings plenty of times before. Until it actually happens, it's nothing more than buzz.


2) The option to use 4G.

Also known as EVO envy (or EVO-in-select-cities-where-4G-service-is-currently-available envy, but that takes way too long to say). Expressed by 38 percent of U.S. participants.

3) An 8-megapixel camera.


Size may not be everything, but people say they want the full eight when it comes to their smartphone's camera. Some may argue that the iPhone's camera outperforms higher-megapixeled alternatives, but 33 percent of Americans remain convinced.

4) An FM radio tuner.

Just under a third of U.S. smartphone shoppers said they wished the iPhone offered an FM radio tuner in addition to its Internet radio apps. Knock it, mock it, interpret it as you may, but it's something a decent portion of people want their phones to have.


5) A larger display.

"Retina" quality or not, those larger screens are starting to catch buyers' eyes. Thirty percent of respondents said an iPhone with a bigger face would better suit their tastes.

6) Wireless synching.


Twenty-eight percent of customers crave a phone that lets them say so-long to wires and hello to cloud-based sync support.

7) A removable battery.

Say what you will about battery life from one device to another: About a quarter of U.S. smartphone shoppers dream of an Apple phone that'd let them swap out the battery if they so desired.


8) A physical keyboard.

The touchscreen keyboard doesn't cut it for 21 percent of people eyeing an iPhone. They want the option of getting a phone with a physical keyboard and say they'd be far more excited about the iPhone if it offered that choice.

Man, that feature list sure looks awfully familiar. It's all good, though: Apple's bound to introduce a few of those options here in the next couple years, and they'll undoubtedly be "amazing," "wonderful," and "really beautiful" when they debut.

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