The latest YouGov report on smartphone brand perception and purchase intent is out, and this one is a keeper. According to the data, the proportion of BlackBerry owners planning to purchase a new BlackBerry (BBRY) within six months has rocketed from 18% to 43% since the spring of 2012. Over the same time period, the same number for iPhone owners has slipped from 92% to 85% while the number for Samsung (005930) Galaxy owners has ticked up from 46% to 53%. The interesting part here is how close the BlackBerry purchasing intent level is now to Galaxy’s level. One could argue that the iPhone slippage was unavoidable in the period after the iPhone 5 launch and before the rumor mill on the new models kicks into high gear.
If the YouGov report is accurate, it implies that consumer attitudes towards smartphone brands are remarkably fluid. Even the past two years of relentlessly negative BlackBerry media coverage may not have done damage that couldn’t be reversed by a hot model or two. It is interesting how easily BlackBerry has nearly closed the gap to the Galaxy brand, which has floated on mostly positive media coverage cloud for two years now. It will be fascinating to see how the YouGov numbers move as the major United States carriers launch BlackBerry devices and kick off their marketing campaigns. It is just possible that the consumer familiarity with the iPhone and Galaxy models has bred enough ennui to give BB a shot at jump starting its U.S. franchise.