Survey: Android surges, iPhone stalls

While demand for BlackBerries and Palm Pres is drying up, according to ChangeWave

Source: ChangeWave Research

Take this with the usual grain of salt, based, as it is, on a survey of early adopters who have already decided to buy a smartphone in the next three months.

But in a ChangeWave report released Wednesday, 30% of respondents said they would prefer to have a phone running Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system — a five-fold increase from six months ago and up 9 points since December.

Only 29% preferred Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone OS X, up 1 point from December, and 13% wanted Research in Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry OS, down 5 points. Demand for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile and Palm’s (PALM) Web OS remain in single digits.

The biggest beneficiaries of what ChangeWave calls “the monster wave of demand for Android OS phones” are Motorola (MOT) and HTC, as the first chart below the fold suggests.

Source: ChangeWave Research

“Only six months ago,” the report notes, “Motorola was virtually dead in the water at 1%.” Today the popularity of its Droid model could bump it another 3 points to 16% of planned purchases. Meanwhile HTC, which built the first Android phones and manufactures Google’s Nexus One, also picked up 3%.

The BlackBerry is still the smartphone to beat among ChangeWave members, with 38% of the market compared with the iPhone’s 33%. But Apple is gaining steadily, as the chart below shows.

Source: ChangeWave Research

And the Apple iPhone continues to blow the rest of the field away in terms of user satisfaction. 77% of iPhone users say they are “very satisfied” with their current smartphone, a number that is up 3 points over the past three months. By contrast, only 38% BlackBerry owners said they were very satisfied in the most recent survey, down 4 points since December.

Source: ChangeWave Research

The survey was conducted between March 9 and March 23 among 4,040 consumers drawn, according the ChangeWave Alliance website, from “a worldwide group of 25,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals … who spend their everyday lives working on the frontline of technological change.”

You can read the full report here.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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