By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
February 8, 2008

Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Research in Motion (RIMM)’s BlackBerry appear to be the primary beneficiaries in what ChangeWave Research describes as a “seismic shift” in the mobile phone market, as record numbers of consumers abandon their basic cell phones for more advanced models. (link)

The investment group polled 4,182 of its members in mid-January and found that the iPhone was the top choice among respondents planning to buy a new cell phone in the next six months (17%) and RIM the second choice (15%).

ChangeWave’s findings dovetail with a report issued earlier this week by Canalys that found that shipments of so-called converged-devices, which include smart phones and wireless handhelds, grew 222 percent in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, and that Apple captured 28 percent of those sales, second only to RIM’s 41 percent. (link)

Perhaps the best news for Apple in the ChangeWave survey is the level of satisfaction reported by owners of iPhones. As in earlier surveys, the percentage of Apple customers who say they are very satisfied (72 percent) towers over those of other vendors. See chart below.

Caveat: ChangeWave surveys are conducted among self-selected respondents who invest in tech stocks and tend to be early adopters. As such, they should be taken as indicators of trends rather than scientific samples of the broader market.

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