updated 12:55 pm EST, Fri March 5, 2010
Study shows more would get iPad than Kindle
More than a quarter of e-book reader buyers wish they had waited until the iPad was available to buy in, ChangeWave has found in a new study. Of those who owned an e-reader as of February, 27 percent would have bought the Apple device instead. Less than half, 45 percent, would still have chosen what they did at the time.
The buying decisions of those who don't already own one of the devices may play favorably into Apple's hands. Of the group that was planning to buy within the next three months, a high 40 percent expected to have an iPad in that period. Amazon's Kindle trailed behind significantly at 28 percent, while competitors had just a small fraction of demand: Barnes & Noble's Nook was the target of just 6 percent of the audience, while Sony's veteran Reader line represented only 1 percent.
Only 13 percent of the total pool of those surveyed were somewhat or very likely to buy an iPad, although ChangeWave noted that this actually compared favorably to the 2007 iPhone launch. Two months before the smartphone's launch, only 9 percent of the group were likely to buy. The demand suggests that Apple could have much more fervor at its April 3rd release than it did on June 29th almost three years ago, according to the analysts.
The segment that does expect to buy the tablet overwhelmingly plans to browse the web with the device, at 68 percent. E-mail is next on the priority list at 44 percent, but reading will actually take a backseat as just 37 percent plan to read e-books and 28 percent will look at magazines. Video playback is the least anticipated feature at 24 percent.
In spite of the demand, Apple may not necessarily count on a very short term rush. Only about 16 percent of likely iPad candidates plan to buy within the first month; the largest portion, 62 percent, plans to wait between 2 to 12 months. As much as 8 percent would wait more than a year.
Some cannibalization is also expected. Although the launch is favorable to Apple's margins as 10 percent of iPhone buyers and 9 percent of iPod touch buyers now want the more expensive device, a full 13 percent have said they plan to skip a Mac desktop or notebook purchase to get the cheaper tablet. The high demand is nonetheless thought to at least partially offset this by increasing Apple's overall demand and catching those who would otherwise never have bought into the company's range.