Survey: Apple poised for gains in China

Nokia may be most vulnerable as Chinese cellphone owners upgrade to smartphones

There's good news for Apple (aapl) in the results of an Alphawise/Morgan Stanley survey released Tuesday.

The survey, conducted among a sample of 2,029 Chinese mobile phone users in February and March, found demand for smartphones to be surprisingly strong. 88% of respondents said they expected the next phone they bought would be a smartphone. And 30% of those who planned to buy a 3G phone said they expected to buy an iPhone, even at its current price. If price were not a consideration, that number would jump to 53%, according to the survey.

Nokia (nok), currently the vendor in China with the largest 3G market share, is also the one with the most to lose.

Below, a chart of the features respondents said they cared most about, which according to Morgan Stanley's analysis will shift the balance in Apple's favor as Internet use increases.

<!-- more -->

Also on

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions