Will Survey Data Translate into iPhone Sales?

There are two competing mobile handset stories running simultaneously in the tech press right now. The first is how Android is increasing its dominance over other operating systems including iOS. The second, which largely contradicts the first, argues that Android will potentially lose meaningful market share when the next iPhone comes out. 

Below is the data that the "pro-Android" stories are built on; first Nielsen

Google’s Android operating system (OS) now claims the largest share of the U.S. consumer smartphone market with 39 percent. Apple’s iOS is in second place with 28 percent, while RIM Blackberry is down to 20 percent.

 Then Canalys:

Android, the number one platform by shipments since Q4 2010, was also the strongest growth driver this quarter, with Android-based smart phone shipments up 379% over a year ago to 51.9 million units . . .

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/june-2011-smartphone-share.png

Now the survey data on which the "pro-iPhone" stories are based:

Roughly two weeks ago ChangeWave came out with survey data that argued those planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days expressed a preference for the iPhone over Android 46% to 32%.

Then, earlier this week, Piper Jaffray released some survey data (which got way too much play for its tiny and unscientific sample) suggesting that most mobile phone owners would be buying an iPhone next. Indeed, the data argue that Android will see less than 50% retention: 

http://common4.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image/31/0,1425,i=312304,00.jpg

No doubt many people are interested in the next iPhone but attitudes and survey responses don't always translate into concrete behavior. For the overheated claims to come true ("iPhone 5 could double iOS market share") Apple will need to unveil a true blockbuster.