Expected to debut in September, the iPhone 6 has already generated a huge level of consumer interest, at least according to a recent survey from 451 Research's ChangeWave service.
In a March poll of more than 4,000 people, 14 percent of the respondents told ChangeWave that they're very likely to buy the next iPhone. Another 26 percent said they're somewhat likely. The 40 percent in the "likely" category outshines the initial buying interest for Apple's last two major phones.
In a March 2013 ChangeWave poll, 26 percent of those questioned said they would be very or somewhat likely to pick up the iPhone 5S. And a March 2012 survey found that 33 percent expressed the same sentiments toward the iPhone 5.
"This is the highest level of demand for an unannounced Apple model in a ChangeWave survey -- stronger than we've seen in previous years for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 models prior to their announcements," Andy Golub of 451 Research said in a statement. "Speculation over a larger screen iPhone is clearly striking a chord with consumers."
As always, buzz has already popped up about Apple's next iPhone. Several analysts and reports say the iPhone 6 will offer a larger screen beyond the 4-inch display found in the current model. The most recent rumors point to two new iPhones -- one with a 4.7-inch screen and a second with a 5.5-inch screen.
Apple is facing increasing competition from larger-screen smartphones as more buyers opt for big Android devices. ChangeWave's survey also uncovered greater consumer interest in larger phones.
In the latest poll, 47 percent of planned smartphone buyers said they're most interested in a phone with a 5-inch or larger screen. That percentage is up 7 points since the last survey in December, and the highest level since ChangeWave began asking that question.
And what of Apple's archrival Samsung?
The new Galaxy S5 is spurring rewewed interest from potential buyers. Among people who plan to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 28 percent said they'd opt for a Samsung device. That number is up 9 percent from the previous poll in December and 14 percent overall since last March.
The ChangeWave survey reached 4,109 people, primarily in North America. The report itself was released to ChangeWave customers on April 3 and to the public on April 10.