iPhone 5S failing to enthuse UK consumers

Only a third of UK iPhone owners are planning to upgrade to Apple’s new iPhone 5S handset when it’s released later this month.

A poll of 1,000 UK adults undertaken by Usurv, the online survey company, found that just 31 per cent of current iPhone owners want the new iPhone 5S as opposed to 44 per cent that last year indicated they would be upgrading to the iPhone 5.

"The fact that a significant slice of people had been put off buying an iPhone in the past could suggest that Apple might be able to tap in to a wider market with the lower priced iPhone 5C. However it's difficult to say whether the price is actually low enough and how operators will price it in their contracts,” said Guy Potter, director and market researcher at Usurv.

Owners of devices manufactured by other companies were particularly averse to the new device with just six per cent of Samsung Galaxy owners admitting they want to upgrade to the new iPhone 5S. It’s a similar case with customers of Nokia [nine per cent], HTC [11 per cent], and BlackBerry [13 per cent].

When it came to the new features the fingerprint reader was most appealing with 30 per cent of respondents calling it the feature that appealed to them most with the other new features polling between two per cent and nine per cent. The highest number of all, 40 per cent, stated that none of the new features appealed to them.

“Of the new features, only the fingerprint reader seems to have caught people's attention. The brand is under pressure to deliver excitement and innovation at every launch and this time the initial mood indicates that in that sense it has failed,” Potter added.

The iPhone 5C, the affordable handset released by Apple, may fare better with a large number of respondents answering that in the past the iPhone price had put them off. Nokia owners were the largest number to be put off by price with 59 per cent admitting this was the case, 44 per cent of HTC and BlackBerry owners were discouraged by the price as well as 40 per cent of iPhone owners and 39 per cent of Samsung Galaxy owners.

Apple released its new handsets at twin launch events earlier this week in California and Beijing. UK iPhone 5C pre-orders kick off on 13 September with general availability for that, and the iPhone 5S, set for 20 September.