New Survey Offers a Peek at Consumer Demand for the iPhone 5

You wouldn’t know it by listening to HTC’s Martin Fichter, but it seems that the demand for Apple’s next smartphone is higher than ever before. According to a recent survey, the pre-launch hype for the iPhone 5 exceeds that of the iPhone 4.

Analyst Mike Abramsky announced the results of a recent RBC/ChangeWave survey this morning, which shines some light on the growing interest in Apple’s upcoming smartphone. And unless you’re Mr. Fichter, the results shouldn’t surprise you…

According to AppleInsider, the poll took place between August 2nd and August 10th, and involved 2,200 respondents. In all, 31% of those that were polled are planning on buying the iPhone 5. That’s a 6% increase over a similar survey last year.

Abramsky also pointed out that the iPhone 4 is nearly 15 months old, and millions of users will soon be coming to the end of their two year contracts. That might help explain the 66% of current iPhone users who plan to buy the new device.

On top of the large number of upgraders, the survey also showed strong demand for Apple’s next smartphone with Sprint and T-Mobile customers. In fact, more than 50% of subscribers polled said they would likely buy the iPhone if it was available.

In wake of the results, Abramsky has raised his estimated fiscal 2012 iPhone sales 5 million units to be 110 million. He thinks Apple could sell 27 million iPhones in the first quarter alone. That’s 6 million more phones than last quarter.

So what does all of this mean? For most of us, not much. We’ll determine whether we want the iPhone 5 or not when Tim Cook (or whoever) hoists it up on stage in the next few weeks. But for Apple, it means it has some major expectations to live up to.

Can they do it? Are you planning on getting the iPhone 5?