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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 15, 2007 at 10:33 AM

19 million want an iPhone in the U.S.

As many as 19 million people are highly interested in buying an iPhone in the U.S., according to a survey released today by M:Metrics, the Seattle-based mobile research firm..

The survey looked at consumer awareness of the iPhone in the U.S. and U.K. and intention to purchase one.

It found that 64 percent of American mobile phone users and 56 percent of British users were aware of the iPhone. In the U.S., 14 percent of those who had heard about the iPhone — about 19 million people — said they would be highly interested in buying one.

The survey asked respondents to rank on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they were to purchase an iPhone. The number of people choosing 7 to 10 totaled 19 million. The group registering a neutral amount of interest, checking 5 or 6, totaled 15.8 million, and those marking a 1 to 4 made up the largest group, 97.2 million.

Interestingly enough, the interest does not seem to be based on the device’s capabilities, M:Metrics said.

“While other devices — some of them already on the market — have features equal or better than the iPhone, such as 3G, superior cameras, and the like, the iPhone has been the first mobile device to create widespread consumer excitement around a mobile phone,” said Mark Donovan, an M:Metrics analyst. “This has the potential to increase consumer demand for more expensive, full-featured phones across the board as OEMs and other operators respond to AT&T/Apple’s marketing juggernaut.”

AT&T has a five-year exclusive on the device in the U.S.

Another interesting tidbit: 67 percent of those most inclined to purchase an iPhone subscribed to other carrier networks.

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