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AT&T canvasses buyers on future iPhone features

AT&T has recently begun surveying some of its longer-term iPhone buyers asking what features they would most like to see added to the Apple handset.

The survey chiefly touches on post-purchase satisfaction with both Apple and AT&T and is described by AppleInsider readers as a follow-up to a similar survey from a few months ago, or shortly after the iPhone 3G launch.

It's also said to be gauging reactions to iPhone firmware 2.1 and whether or not the update improved the phone's features.

A single page of the survey, however, is committed just to judging which features customers would most likely to see added to the iPhone in the future. The questionnaire asks owners to pick the top five hardware or software add-ons they'd like to see and include many of the most prominent requests made in the community, including cutting and pasting text, built-in instant messaging, Flash/Java support and MMS messaging.

A handful of the items have already been partly or completely addressed. Users can already search contacts, for example, while it's also possible to download ringtones from iTunes on a computer but not the iPhone itself.

Readers shouldn't necessarily interpret this as a sign of Apple's future direction with its multi-touch device; companies regularly poll their customers to determine the level of demand for particular features.

Apple has previously said, however, that it's continually looking to add new features to the iPhone's software and that it was a question of priority and that copy-and-paste, directional GPS, and other features have been put on the backburner in the past to address other components first or due to complications.

During the summer, some of Apple's iPhone 2.1 beta seeds included directional positioning but didn't expose the feature in the final build, which instead focused on resolving bugs.

As such, it's difficult to tell which if any of the features in the AT&T survey will translate to actual improvements in the near future.