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Thursday, June 07, 2012, 07:05 am PT (10:05 am ET)

73% of iPhone buyers choose 4S, 38% switch from Android or BlackBerry

A new survey of American iPhone buyers has revealed that 73 percent choose the high-end iPhone 4S, while 38 percent of those buying Apple's smartphone reported switching from Android or BlackBerry.

The latest data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found that the number of customers switching from Android and BlackBerry to iPhone has increased from 29 percent in the previous survey conducted in February. The new data comes from a survey conducted in April of 7,348 U.S. subjects, 521 of which qualified to respond.

The number of users switching to the iPhone is even higher than it was following the iPhone 4S launch in the holiday season of 2011, when 36 percent of iPhone buyers came from another platform.

When broken down among capacity, 50 percent of U.S. iPhone 4S buyers surveyed in April chose the smallest capacity of 16 gigabytes. Another 34 percent chose the 32-gigabyte size, while the remaining 16 percent went for the high-end 64-gigabyte iPhone 4S.

While nearly three-quarters of all iPhone buyers opt for the iPhone 4S, another 22 percent in the U.S. chose the iPhone 4, which can be purchased for $99 with a new two-year service contract. The free-on-contract iPhone 3GS represented just 5 percent of sales.

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Customers have increasingly chosen the iPhone 4S over cheaper alternatives, the survey shows. The number of American iPhone buyers opting for Apple's latest-generation device was up from 69 percent in the previous survey.

Between February and April, there was also a slight shift in carrier shares, as AT&T slid from 53 percent of new iPhone activations to 51 percent, and Sprint fell from 13 percent to 12 percent. Their losses were Verizon's gain, as the nation's largest wireless carrier increase from 34 percent to 37 percent of iPhone activations in April.