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updated 1/27/2012 2:19:56 PM ET 2012-01-27T19:19:56

BlackBerry is on its way out — fast. So it seems from research firm Nielsen’s online surveys of new-phone buyers, which about 25,000 people answer each month. While roughly 90 percent of them snagged Apple or Android phones in December, only about 4.5 percent went for BlackBerrys (down from almost 8 percent just two months earlier).

What do those people want that BlackBerry still offers them?

To find out, we asked Nielsen to dig deeper into the numbers, producing a top 10 list of most-important features for the 75,000 people who took its surveys in October, November and December, and a separate list for just the ones who bought BlackBerrys.

In at least one way, BlackBerry buyers are like everyone else: They care most about price. But brand is the second most-important thing for BlackBerry buyers, even though it’s way down at No. 5 for phone buyers overall.

To stray, a BlackBerry lover would need to feel the pull of a well-priced phone with some key features: a physical (not onscreen) keyboard and a great “email experience,”as it’s called in the survey. Email doesn’t even make the top-10 list for the overall group. But the overall group puts ease of use far higher, second only to price.

It looks like BlackBerrys still are primarily email machines for their owners. To them, keyboard and email experience basically are “ease of use.” And email doesn’t require a huge touch screen. In fact, screen size didn’t even make the top 10 criteria for Blackberry buyers.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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