This just in from Engadget columnist Michael Gartenberg: According to market research firm Interpret, which recently studied public perception about smartphones, Palm has snapped up the number 2 spot in what it calls “mindshare.”
The newly released report is titled “Signature Smartphones: Gaining Mindshare in Order to Gain Market Share.” In it, the firm identifies the decision-making influences for smartphone consumers, and gauged various handsets against those standards.
So how do we all tend to choose our devices? There are three core criteria. In order of importance, the phone must be “smart” (intelligent/adept), “cool” (hip/trendy), and “productive” (efficient/organized).
(Hmmm. Does the phone have to be these things, or do they have to make us feel like we are those things? Probably both.)
The researchers rated a cross-section of phones — specifically, the BlackBerry Curve and Storm, the G1, the iPhone (3G and 3G S) and, of course, the Pre. The result? Well, you already know: The iPhone 3G S and Pre came out on top. In fact, they were the only ones that offered a balance of all the criteria such that customers felt the higher prices were justified.
Fascinating stuff. And it’s sure to tick off some people. But what’s interesting here is that, not that long ago, the mere mention of Palm would’ve had some people snort-chuckling. And it’s still not exactly a powerhouse yet, but thanks to the Pre, it seems to have pulled off an image change worthy of Cher or Madonna. As with all things that are in the spotlight, the gossip's going full tilt around the little riverstone-shaped handset and its maker: The Pre is rumored to have been ruled out by Verizon as a future product addition for the carrier, while Palm itself might be getting courted by Nokia. If these stories are true, can popular opinion change things? It will be interesting to see.
Oh, by the way — I didn’t mention author Michael Gartenberg in the first sentence just to give him props. In addition to writing for Engadget, he’s also an exec for Interpret and actually worked on this study.
For a peek at the actual 6-page report, click here to download the PDF.
[via Engadget Mobile]