NEW YORK: Consumers in the US who are interested in buying a new smartphone continue to greatly favour Apple's iPhone over any competing device, according to new research.

Piper Jaffray, the investment bank, polled 800 consumers and analysed user comments on Twitter, the microblog, to build a picture of likely demand in the sector over the coming three months.

It found that in early November, during the period running up to the release of Apple's iPhone 5, some 47.7% of potential category buyers planned to acquire that specific model.

In mid-October, three weeks after its introduction, this total had grown to 54.9%. The initial spike of enthusiasm faded only slightly by mid-December, as interest levels remained at 53.3%.

The firm's Twitter analysis also revealed that "over the past two weeks, the demand index is up an average of 36% year on year", not least as sales are likely to be boosted by the Christmas period.

Demand also seems to have been unaffected by the negative reaction to Apple's Maps app, which was first pre-installed as the iPhone's default geo-location tool just three months ago.

Users complained of various geographical errors and a lack of features, and now the Google Maps app is once again available through Apple's App store.

Devices powered by Google's Android operating system are also the iPhone's nearest competitor in terms of intended smartphone purchases, Piper Jaffray stated.

In all, a 39% share of potential category consumers were keen to acquire gadgets using Android before the iPhone launched. This total has remained at 35.2% since Apple's latest device hit store shelves.

Similarly, Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system claimed an 8.7% share of buyer interest before the iPhone 5 became available, falling to 5.2% after its launch, then recovering to 6.5%.

Blackberry's initial share of 4.7% edged had also upwards to 4.9% around 12 weeks after the iPhone 5 was unveiled, the study added.

Details sourced from CNN Money; additional content by Warc staff