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iOS 6 Maps, Lightning connector have no effect on iPhone 5 demand, survey finds

Negative headlines haven't suppressed consumer interest in the iPhone 5, which is seeing "unprecedented" demand, according to the latest survey from ChangeWave Research.

The poll of 4,270 primarily North American consumers was conducted in September, and found that 19 percent of consumers considered themselves "very likeLy" to buy an iPhone 5, while 13 percent said they were "somewhat likely."

The numbers show a significant increase in demand for the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 4S from a year ago. Last year, 10 percent of consumers said they were "very likely" to buy an iPhone 4S, while another 11.5 percent considered themselves "somewhat likely."

The stats show that consumers who indicated they are "very likely" to buy the iPhone 5 has nearly doubled from that of the iPhone 4S. Until now, Apple's iPhone 4S has been the most successful smartphone in history, but the iPhone 5 is expected to surpass it.

"Despite the media attention surrounding both the Apple Maps issue and the Apple Lightning port issue, neither has had an impact on the massive numbers of buyers queuing up to buy the iPhone 5," said Dr. Paul Carton, ChangeWave's vice president of Research. "Rather, the survey results show both issues hardly rank as bumps in the road."

ChangeWave also asked respondents running iOS 6 if they had experienced problems with Apple Maps, and the survey found that the new mapping software has not been a major issue for users. Among those polled, 90 percent reported "no problem at all," while 3 percent said iOS 6 Maps are a "very big problem," while 6 percent said the issue is "somewhat of a problem."

The data shows that any perceived issues with iOS 6 Maps are less of a concern than the "antenna-gate" controversy with the iPhone 4. In 2010, ChangeWave's polling found 7 percent of new iPhone 4 owners characterized the reception issue as a "very big problem," while another 14 percent said it was "somewhat of a problem." Nearly two thirds reported they "hadn't experienced any problem."

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As for the new, smaller Lightning port on the iPhone 5, customers likely to buy Apple's latest handset were asked for their thoughts on the change that makes it more difficult, and in some cases impossible, to use legacy accessories. Nearly a third — 31 percent — said the change to the Lightning port is "not much of a problem," while 26 percent said it's "no problem at all.

However, 6 percent characterized the Lightning port switch as a "very big problem," and 31 percent said they felt it was "somewhat of a problem."

Even though more than two-thirds of respondents expressed some level of concern over the Lightning port, the survey found it will not stop consumers from buying the iPhone 5. Among those who said they are unlikely to buy the iPhone 5, 0 percent said their decision was made because of the Lightning adapter.

The iPhone 5 had the strongest launch yet of any iPhone, as Apple announced the device sold 5 million units in its first three days of availability. It's believed that Apple could have sold many more handsets over the launch window, but sales are believed to have been held back by limited supply.