Many more people would buy an iPhone – if they weren’t stuck with AT&T

It’s a bit like one of those X Factor moments when the judges tell a performer to dump their singing partner in order to go through to the next round.

It seems the iPhone is the most popular smartphone, with 77 percent of users saying they’re ‘very satisfied’ with the device – but a full third of non-iPhone users say the reason they haven’t switched to using one is because of Apple’s AT&T exclusivity deal.

Motorola users are most likely to wish things were different, with 37 percent saying they’d switch if their carrier supported the iPhone.

The ChangeWave Consumer Electronics Report says that it’s going to be a ‘monster holiday season’ for Apple nevertheless. Consumer spending is up for the holidays, and is likely to exeed last year, with Apple the biggest beneficiary.

Despite its much-publicized antenna weakness and other problems, the iPhone 4 has a stonking 84 percent satisfaction rating for the 32GB version and 78 percent for the 16GB, compared with 81 percent for the 32GB iPhone 3GS and 77 percent for the 16GB 3GS version. Let’s hope nobody ‘upgraded’ from the 32GB iPhone 3GS to the 16GB iPhone 4.

“The iPhone 4’s exceptionally high Very Satisfied rating… confirms our earlier survey findings that despite the controversy surrounding its initial launch, the iPhone 4 has been extraordinarily well received by its owners,” says ChangeWave’s vice president of research, Paul Carlton.

“These iPhone 4 scores are even better than the ratings for the earlier generation iPhone 3GS models… which were recorded in our May 2010 new smart phone owners survey.”

The company surveyed 1,212 US residents who had bought a new smartphone in the last six months, and found that Motorola users were also pleased with their purchase – 71 percent said they were very satisfied. In third place was HTC, with 63 percent.

Samsung users aren’t quite so chuffed, with only 45 percent agreeing, and just 44 percent of Blackberry users were similarly pleased.