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NPD: 51% of buyers would rather have netbook over iPad

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri March 26, 2010

NPD notes iPad appealing first to Apple devotees

Just over half of younger, prospective iPad buyers would rather have a netbook or notebook than the Apple tablet, the NPD found in a new study. Among 18-to-34 year olds, 51 percent would prefer a conventional portable than the iPad. Owning an existing Apple device also wasn't enough to sway some users as 44 percent still would rather get a computer like the MacBook than the slate design.

Some hesitation also existed among those interested but reluctant to buy right away. Despite the relatively low price for a touchscreen tablet, 57 percent of those delayed buyers objected based on the $499 minimum cost of entry; the number was still high for Apple users at 43 percent. About 66 percent of all those asked, regardless of age, had no plans to get an iPad in the near future while 18 percent had serious plans.

The most likely to know of and want the iPad are largely self-evident, according to the study, and include not just the under 34 group but all those who use Apple products or make more than $100,000 per year. Of those who do plan to get the device, most want it for media playback or regular Internet access, both factors that the researchers believed were an explanation for the lean towards notebooks.

"Considering what people are planning to use the iPad for, it's not hard to understand why people who have these capabilities on other devices, such as the iPod Touch or a notebook/netbook, may not want to spend $500 or more on a similar device," the NPD's Stephen Baker said. "This points to the need for Apple to close the content deals that focus the iPad on what is likely to be its best long-range value proposition... high quality media consumption."

Apple isn't at risk of poor launch sales as it may sell over 240,000 on its first day, but the hesitation suggests the netbook industry may have set expectations for the iPad ahead of its launch. Most netbooks cost less than $400, and while incapable of much of the visual performance of the iPad have regular operating systems that can handle regular computing tasks.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Web cam is probably one of the factors

    Similar studies were also published about iPods, such as Microsoft's stupid things about radio, measuring tape, laser, ruler, blender, toilet, etc…wait, and the kitchen sink, to be included in a personal listening device.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows users seem to have the need for

    a physical keyboard which I think is the reason for them wanting a netbook. It was one of the reasons they said the iPhone was inferior to Windows Mobile smartphones. Another factor is cost. They can buy a mid-range netbook for $300, so why pay more for something that does less and has less hardware. They're probably not buying netbooks to watch video, so it doesn't matter if video stutters. The netbook is seen as a cheap Swiss-Army knife substitute for a more expensive notebook. This is the main reason I believe Windows 7 tablets are doomed to failure by Windows users. Why pay more for less?

    I believe the iPad is going to have to tap a new market to be a hit. It will obviously have to appeal to those that want to have the latest device and they don't worry about spending a little more money. I think a lot of youngsters are going to convince their parents to get them iPads. It's difficult to figure consumers but I think that once they try the iPad they'll just find it simple and fun to use and that will be enough to jumpstart sales.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    80% can't visualize something they can't see

    Given the fact that people can touch a netbook, and can't touch an iPad (because its not released yet), this study is worthless.

    The average person doesn't have the ability to visualize and understand the ramifications of....well much of anything, in regards to future events.

    Most people are concrete thinkers with very little in the way of being able to handle abstract concepts, let alone being able to understand the ramifications enough to make a purchasing decision.

    And part of what I'm saying is not a pure insult - (hehe, part of it is)...but nobody is omniscient and the further you try to make a prediction into the future, the more variables that are present, the less accurate your prediction will be - it actually makes sense even for the most abstract of thinkers, to delay making a decision until more variables are resolved.

    I pre-ordered my iPad within 3 seconds of its availability for pre-order. Why? Duh, I wanted one.


  1. sgirard

    Joined: Dec 1969



    49% of younger prospective iPad buyers would prefer to have an iPad rather than a netbook or notebook!

    That's amazing!

    (I haven't seen the survey, I just pretend to be a market researcher on TV.)

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Regular computing tasks?"

    You mean like
    email (check)
    web (check)
    calendar (check)
    word processing (check)
    spreadsheet (check)
    presentations (check)
    photos (check)
    music (check)
    video (check)
    you tube (check)
    And hundreds of thousands of specific apps.
    Not sure what's left for "regular".
    Only hardware I see missing is a camera...

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    49% market share on launch?

    ...hard to argue with that! :)

  1. facebook_Edgar

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010


    I'd rather have a netbook

    Count me as being someone who'd rather have a netbook. If I could get something with the specs of Acer's new 10" with Ion 2 that ran Snow Leopard I would definitely buy it. I gave up my MacBook for a hackintosh netbook, but the 600x1024 screen is less than desirable.

    I was disappointed that the MacBook Air had a 13" screen, and I'm disappointed that the iPad doesn't run OSX. In the end if there are enough good apps to get me to drop my netbook for portable computing- mostly good word processors- I still might bite, but I'll hold out for 2nd Gen.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Multiple IP addresses

    A lot of the negative votes are being given to comments that merely state fact.

    Methinks someone here has access to multiple IP addresses and is voting down multiple times. For shame, for shame.

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You simply have to get it

    Wonder what the equivalent was for the iPod before launch, I heard nothing but negative comments by those who didn't have one at the time, indeed for some time after launch and look how that turned out. Netbooks simply cannot do what a 'real' computer can the iPad doesn't promise that yet it promises doing what it does seriously better than the Netbook while doing what a real computer does later and doing it better and simpler. Sounds like common sense to me and most will understand that as they get to see and hear what it can do.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Regular computing tasks

    What you don't seem to realize is that this is younger people. Regular computing includes peer-to-peer file sharing like Limewire, Frostwire, eDonkey, Vuze, etc. Good luck getting Apple to approve one of those apps.

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