Most cellphone users would only be willing to investigate the iPhone if the asking price drops, according to a just-published survey. Research firm Compete Inc. gauged the reactions of 379 people to the Apple device, and noted that while 26 percent of those polled would like to own an iPhone, only a single percent that smaller group was willing to commit to the $499 price announced in January. However, that latter figure jumped to 42 percent when the price was dropped to $299 or less, Compete said. Most of the respondents were already aware of the iPhone and had at least investigated buying an iPod in the past.
Figures climbed higher still when subjects were asked about switching carriers. A majority -- 60 percent -- of those interested in the iPhone were willing to switch to AT&T to own the handset when the price was right, the survey said.
Analysts at Bear Stearns have suggested that Apple and AT&T are aware of the challenges in selling such a premium device and may change the final amount in the four months between now and the scheduled June launch. Apple has occasionally announced a high price only to lower the figure by the time the device is ready for stores, said researcher Phil Cusick.
AT&T was already confirmed to be exploring price cuts for the iPhone through a leaked survey hosted by PineCone Research. The study offered multiple potential price points to see which one potential customers liked best, dropping the price as low as $299 for the 4GB model when attached to a two-year subscription.