Here are the smartphones the early adopters plan to buy

July 15, 2015, 11:29 AM UTC

Smartphone sales in North America are in the doldrums.

As evidence, see the latest intent-to-buy survey from 451 Research’s ChangeWave, a fairly reliable indicator of which way the wind is blowing.

In a June 16-30 survey of 4,313 early adopter types, only 12.1% of respondents said they planned to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days. That’s the lowest level of demand in a June survey since 2008.

Apple and Samsung still dominate the field, with Samsung on an uptick and Apple on a down.

But don’t be fooled by the bar charts, says ChangeWave Research director Andy Golub. He offers as context two fever charts (below) and these observations:

—While Apple is down, it is coming off a very successful iPhone 6/6 Plus launch that held demand at historically high levels. The more accurate comparison is to compare the latest results to the June 2013 survey just prior to the iPhone 5S/5C release (48% Jun ’15 vs. 44% June ’13). In addition, the Apple Watch is likely diverting some attention.

—For Samsung, the June ’15 survey represents the third consecutive uptick for Samsung—and the first June increase in three years.

—Nonetheless, the typical bounce back that the data normally shows for Samsung in the December and March surveys had been dampened by the successful iPhone 6/6 Plus launch.

Below: Four years of intent-to-purchase surveys.


Click to enlarge.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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