As Apple prepares to release its new iPhone model, new research from Parks Associates ( shows the iPhone leads its rivals in customer satisfaction, with 75% of its owners “very satisfied” with their handset versus 61% of Android phone owners.

The research firm’s “Untapped Consumer Opportunities for Mobile Services” reveals 34% of U.S. smartphone shoppers from households with an annual income of US$50,000-$75,000, surveyed in July 2012, plan to purchase an iPhone. The same percentage plan to buy a Google Android phone, whereas last year, only 24% planned to purchase an iPhone versus 39% in favor of an Android phone. Similarly, smartphone shoppers with a four-year college degree, who once favored Google over Apple, now put the iPhone on top.

“The iPhone scores higher than Android in user satisfaction in virtually all surveyed features, but Android phones have ruled the market due to lower costs,” says John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “However, a sixth-generation iPhone will reduce the prices of previous models and draw even more attention to the brand, expanding its appeal to other consumer segments.”

According to Parks Associates research:

° 74% of iPhone users are very satisfied with their phone’s ability to run apps, versus 59% among Android users.

° 69% are very satisfied with the music and video content available on the iPhone, versus 58% among Android users.

° 71% are very satisfied with the apps available for the iPhone, versus 60% among Android users.