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iPhone pricing could prove a hurdle

iPhone pricing could prove a hurdle

Consumers aren't willing to pay what Apple may ask for the iPhone but if the price drops they'll switch their mobile service to AT&T in order to get it, according to results of a survey released last Thursday.

Online market research firm Compete surveyed 379 people in the US, most of whom had heard of the iPhone and have shopped for an iPod, to find out how interested they are in the device to produce the uncommissioned report. The iPhone is a combined music player and cell phone that Apple plans to start selling in the U.S. in June.

Among the 26 percent of respondents who said they're likely to buy an iPhone, only one percent said they'd pay US$500 for it. When Apple introduced the iPhone in January, it said it would cost $500 on the low end.

Forty-two percent of those who said they're likely to buy the phone said they'd pay $200 to $299.

The iPhone will be available only to subscribers of Cingular Wireless, now part of AT&T. In a blow to the operator's competitors, 60 percent of those in the survey who said they were likely to buy the phone said they'd switch their mobile operator in order to get it.

While the iPhone has been discussed as a competitor to other handsets like Research In Motion's BlackBerry, the two serve very different markets, said Andy Neff, an analyst at Bear Stearns who participated in a conference call to discuss the results of the study. "Even though there's talk about this as an alternative to RIM, it's not a corporate product," he said.


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