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27% of e-reader buyers regret not waiting for iPad

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sell it!

    Sell it on you know where. Whatever money you make is money to bank for the iPad. :-)

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Biggest unknown

    One unknown yet is how good the screen is for long term reading. If it's anything like reading on a laptop screen, I doubt I'd sit for a few hours reading a novel on it. I just know I can read hours on end with an e-ink screen but after an hour reading on a laptop my eyes are dry, contacts are falling out, etc.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When I'm Ready It'll Be iPad

    I had planned on buying both a Kindle and an iPad b/c I, like many people, was basing my decision on the knowledge that prolonged reading on an LCD screen was hard on the eyes. However, a recent NYTimes article (sorry I don't have the link) discussed this previously correct assumption. In short, it pointed out that there are a lot of things that can affect your eye while reading, but that more recent LCD screens with higher resolutions and, more importantly, faster refresh rate, are no harder on your eyes than e-ink displays.

    At the very least, I know I'll be getting an iPad first and depending on how that goes for reading, may or may not purchase a Kindle down the road.

    Amazon knows it's either going to have to seriously up it's game when it comes to the Kindle or consider dropping out of the eReader arena and focus on selling content for other devices.

  1. VValdo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I just bought a Kindle as a gift last week. No interest in the iPad whatsoever.

    This from an apple fan going back to the Apple II.


  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If you don't want a multimedia pad for reading...

    then I guess a Kindle or similar eInk device is your best choice. You can't have it both ways. I think the iPad will be used more for casual reading than sitting down and using it as you would to read a novel. Many people are going to be happy with the iPad's versatility and ability to do do interactive learning. It will likely be good for reading articles in magazines and newspapers. The iPad will not be perfect for everyone by a long shot. Apple is betting the iPad will have wide enough appeal to many users who want a color display that's responsive. The iPad will cut into the eInk reader market share, but won't likely destroy it.

    I don't know what would cause the eye symptoms you speak of. You could just try using some natural tears or Lacrilube to keep your eyes moist. Wouldn't turning down the contrast or brightness of the screen display stop some of those problems. I'm not doubting your complaints. I'm only offering some solutions.

    I've seen articles that say LCD displays are no harder on the eyes than eInk, but maybe that has to do with a person's eye sensitivity. I doubt if all word processor specialists working for 7 hours at a stretch day after day during the 70's, 80's and 90's have gone blind, but I've yet to see a study on it.

    I would think that someone could come up with a way of creating a software adjustable display setting optimized for reading. Surely that would be possible to lessen eye strain.
    Generally speaking, not many people should sit that long at a stretch and read. They need to get up and stretch and let their eyes focus on distant objects for a while.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Are they trying to say that people who purchased an object are now having remorse because they didn't wait for the next big thing? OMG! I never would have guessed!

    And soon after the iPad is released, and there's talk of iPad 2, there'll be 27% of iPad owners regretting not waiting for iPad 2.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Two things

    Amazon knows it's either going to have to seriously up it's game when it comes to the Kindle or consider dropping out of the eReader arena and focus on selling content for other devices.

    Why does every device have to do everything? Just because there's a device that does more (but not necessarily better than a more specifically targeted device), why does that more specific device have to 'add more'.

    And if Amazon did add a slew on new features to compete, people'd be complaining about what a hodgepodge of components and capabilities, and it's all krufty and bloated.

    Many people are going to be happy with the iPad's versatility and ability to do do interactive learning. It will likely be good for reading articles in magazines and newspapers.

    Keep in mind that Apple's book reader is none of those things. You'll have to get various other book readers with associated content to get any interactive or whatnot. Then again, I hate going to a news site, clicking a link on an interesting story only to find its some video and not text. I can read a story (and get more from it) much quicker than waiting for some talking head to finish preening for the camera.

  1. MacnnChester

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is an area of ecological diversity

    I think the iPad will not get rid of ebooks any more than ebooks have gotten rid of physical books. I believe that the iPad will simply diversity the landscape and there will be dozens of niches for devices. Just like the iPhone is the favorite phone for people who surf or use apps, but not for people who photograph or text, the iPad will find a following and the Kindle will be around for a long time too.

    I just want to see the Harry Potter books on the iPad with the moving photos 'a la the portrait gallery. This will create a new level of ebook, just like the large format coffee table books.

    The iPad is for doing a dozen things, each of which won't last for hours - in this way you need quick access to the web and occasionally the need to enter text ... and very occasionally people will read War and Peace with it.

    On the other hand the Kindle will be for those who only need web access occasionally and who really have the time to read for 4 hours at a time. Watching static screen text is different from watching motion images or scrolling webpages.

    I will probably keep the iPad and physical books for now. The only reason to have an electronic device fro me is to read in bed next to my partner with the lights off and for that the Kindle doesn't work.

    Keep in mind the big picture here. Apple is developing a third platform that crosses the Windows and Mac world and if it can be compelling enough to hold mobile Windows at bay/bey then it will convince quite a few developers and customers how relatively unnecessary it is to sit in front of a pc screen at a desk for 70% of their lives. People just need an excuse to surf, email, text, watch video and read a book unshackled from their pc. Then even though they still need to write term papers and do their taxes on pc's, that will not be the medium for the majority of their digital life.

    This will be a slow, but inexorable process and we'll see how MS responds. Amazon and the Kindle will be a healthy side issue.

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